Hygiene Insider: Plant-heavy diets may be linked to lower risk of periodontitis

Dear Hygiene Insider,

Patients who follow diets rich in plant-based foods but restrict refined grains and added sugars may be less likely to experience periodontitis, according to a study published November 21 in Nutrients.

Those with poor adherence to the Mediterranean diet or the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet more often had inadequate oral hygiene, such as more plaque and higher bleeding on probing, compared to those who followed these eating plans closely. Read more in this edition's Insider Exclusive.

In other news, Dr. Adeyinka Dayo, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, has received a fellowship to study a connection between medial arterial calcification, diabetes, and periodontal bone loss. The fellowship allows Dayo to continue her research, exploring possible radiographic links between vascular calcifications and comorbidities, specifically diabetes.

Also new in our Hygiene Community, a study published recently in the Journal of Dental Research revealed that local exhaust ventilation can be used to control infectious disease-containing aerosols that may spread during dental procedures.

Did you know that COVID-19 testing kits that include preservatives can help researchers measure the oral microbiome? These tests may reveal the link between the oral microbiome and COVID-19, according to a recent study.

Additionally, a new study suggests that COVID-19 severity may be associated with the presence of alveolar bone loss and tooth loss, the sequela of periodontitis. The odds of dying or being admitted to an intensive care unit were much higher in patients with alveolar bone loss, and the chances of developing more severe COVID-19 increased dramatically with tooth loss.

Finally, researchers have found that obesity causes chronic inflammation that increases the growth of bone-destroying cells during periodontitis. The inflammation is linked to heightened bone loss around teeth, according to the animal study.

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