Risk of periodontal diseases increased by sugar-rich diet

A study published in Journal of Oral Microbiology from Aarhus University in Denmark has found that sugary drinks and food increase the risk of periodontal diseases.

While the link between dental caries and a diet high in sugar has been well demonstrated, this study, which critically examined the last 50 years of literature on the topic, has indicated that the occurrence of periodontal diseases may also be encouraged by this type of diet.

One of the authors of the study, Professor, Dr. Odont. Bente Nyvad from the Department of Dentistry and Oral Health at Aarhus University noted that the study revives “the ‘forgotten’ hypothesis that sugar can promote both dental cavities and periodontal diseases.”

“Sugar hasn’t traditionally been associated with the development of periodontal diseases. It’s true that back in the 1970s two American researchers suggested that a diet which was high in carbohydrates could be a common risk factor for both dental diseases and inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease, but this knowledge was largely forgotten again.

“, there is general agreement that the above-mentioned diseases are associated with a high sugar intake. However, a hypothesis that could link and explain the two major dental diseases, caries and periodontitis, has been lacking.”

Professor Nyvad emphasised that given the link between sugar and periodontal diseases, that a healthy diet and the important of maintaining good oral hygiene habits needs to continue to be prioritised.

Read the full review article of the study at Integrated hypothesis of dental caries and periodontal diseases

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