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Periodontics Supporting Your Practice

What is the impact of diet on periodontal health and wound healing after periodontal surgery?

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Close-up of pretty girl eating fresh vegetable saladThis summary is based on the article published in the Open Dentistry Journal: Dietary strategies to optimize wound healing after periodontal and dental implant surgery: an evidence-based review

Beatrice Y. Lau, Bryan D. Johnston, Peter C. Fritz and Wendy E. Ward

Context

Methods to optimize healing through dietary strategies present an attractive option for patients, such that healing from delicate oral surgeries occurs as optimally as possible with minimal patient-meditated complications through improper food choices.

To date, research in this area has largely focused on foods or individual dietary components that may attenuate inflammation or oxidant stress, or foster de novo bone formation. These studies suggest that a wide variety of dietary components, including macronutrients and micronutrients, are integral for optimal periodontal health and have the potential to accelerate oral wound healing after periodontal procedures.

Purpose of the Review

  • A review of the evidence regarding dietary components and periodontal health is useful to more fully understand how nutrients – either in foods or as dietary supplements – contribute to overall periodontal health.
  • This review provides an up to date synopsis of these studies and discussion of dietary considerations that may help a patient achieve the best possible outcome after a periodontal procedure.

Key Findings

  • Findings from the studies can be categorized according to their biological activities, including anti-inflammatory, osteogenic and antioxidant mechanisms.
  • More specifically, higher intakes of DHA and vitamin D through food sources or supplements, as well as a lower ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids, lower carbohydrate and higher fibre intakes may be beneficial for healing due to anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Meeting dietary requirements for calcium and use of vitamin D supplements may benefit healing through osteogenic activity.
  • The relationship among antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamin E and β-carotene and healing are complex and require further investigation while there is strong evidence that lower intakes of vitamin C are harmful to periodontal health.
  • Other foods or food components with antioxidant activity, such as green tea and lycopene have shown potential to improve periodontal health.

 

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