A study published in the January issue of the Journal of Periodontology, the official publication of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), reports that intake of dairy products may promote
periodontal health. According to the report, those who regularly consumed dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt had a lower chance of gum disease.

“Research has suggested that periodontal disease may affect overall systemic health,” said study author Yoshihiro Shimazaki, DDS, of Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. “This study reinforces what much of the public already knows—the importance of dairy in helping achieve a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy mouth.”

The study included 942 participants aged 40 through 79 who were examined on two periodontal parameters that indicate gum disease, periodontal pocket depth (PD), and clinical attachment loss (CAL) of gum tissue. Researchers observed that those subjects who consumed 55 or more grams of products containing lactic acid each day had a significantly lower prevalence of deep PD and severe CAL, demonstrating a lower instance of periodontal disease.

“Millions of adults already suffer from periodontal disease,” said Susan Karabin, DDS, president of the AAP. “By regularly consuming dairy products such as cheese and milk, something many people do each day, the risk of developing gum disease may decrease. These findings are important since maintaining healthy gums is a critical component to maintaining a healthy body.”

[American Academy of Periodontology, February 6, 2008]