A Plant-Based Diet Can Reduce Gingivitis

Dentistry Today


A plant-based whole food diet reduced gingivitis in a recent randomized trial led by the Department of Operative Dentistry and Periodontology at the University of Freiburg Faculty of Medicine Medical Center in Freiburg, Germany.  

For the trial, 30 patients with gingivitis were randomized to an experimental and a control group. The experimental group changed to a diet low in processed carbohydrates and animal proteins and rich in omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin C, antioxidants, plant nitrates, and fibers for four weeks. The subjects in the control group did not change their diet. All of the participants suspended their use of dental floss and other tools to clean between their teeth.

Although there were no differences regarding plaque values, the experimental group experienced a significant reduction in gingival bleeding. These subjects also showed an increase in vitamin D values and weight loss.

“Study results clearly demonstrate the possibility to naturally reduce gingivitis by an optimized diet that also promotes general health. According to this, dental teams should address dietary habits and give adequate recommendations in the treatment of gingivitis, since it might be a side effect of a pro-inflammatory western diet,” said lead author Johan Woelber, DDS, of the Department of Operative Dentistry and Periodontology at the University of Freiburg.

The study, “The Influence of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet on Gingivitis. A Randomized Controlled Trial,” was published by the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

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