Nutrition is one of the very basic needs of every individual. It provides energy for everything we do on a daily basis. But besides this, proper nutrition is also one of the pillars of a healthy life. Poor diet and malnutrition are associated with numerous diseases and conditions. Fortunately, the opposite is also true. Adjusting your diet can have a positive influence on your health. In this article, we discuss what dietary habits can do for your gum health specifically.
A downside to our wealth in Western society is the risk of declining into poor dietary habits, partly due to the sheer abundance of unhealthy food. A typical Western diet consists of many products that are high in refined carbohydrates, such as pasta, pizza, white bread, white rice, breakfast cereals, juices; basically, all our processed food. Consuming these refined carbohydrates is considered to be unhealthy, as it increases the risk for obesity and is associated with for example high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Other unhealthy dietary habits are eating too much saturated or trans fats, which also increases the risk for heart disease and obesity, and consuming too little vitamins, minerals, and fibers.
Nutrition and gum health
Besides the effect of diet on vital organs such as the heart, recent research also suggests that your gums can benefit from healthy dietary habits. In a study with 30 participants, one half of the study group continued to consume a typical Western diet for 6 weeks, meaning that more than 45% of their nutrition intake consisted of refined carbohydrates. The other half of the study group switched to a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet after two weeks. That diet was low in refined carbohydrates and animal proteins, rich in omega‐3 fatty acids, and contained sufficient vitamin C, vitamin D, antioxidants, plant nitrates and fibers. The anti-inflammatory diet caused a significant decrease in gingival inflammation, measured by gum bleeding (Woelber et al., 2019).
Other studies confirm the beneficial effects of a healthy diet on the gums, but how does this work? Inflammation of the gums is a delicate and complex process, where the response of the body’s immune system plays an important role. It is well documented that certain nutritional elements can influence that immune response, such as the antioxidants Vitamin C and E (van der Velden et al., 2011). These antioxidants are particularly present in vegetables and fruits. One of the fruits with the highest content of vitamin C is kiwi fruit. A recent study instructed patients with untreated gum disease to consume kiwi fruit on a daily basis. Interestingly, this resulted in a significant reduction in gingival inflammation (Graziani et al., 2018). This is just an example that shows how a simple adjustment to your dietary habits can make a big difference.
Rebalancing our habits to live healthier
As we have seen, modern life is full of stress, and a small negative chain can lead to a major illness. Sunstar has always believed in the idea that maintaining this balance is key to be truly healthy in body and mind. Therefore, promoting a healthy diet that enhances quality of life is something we have strived for many years now. In 1985, we opened the ‘Sunstar Mind and Body Health Dojo’ in Japan to strengthen the body’s own healing power. This center is open for everybody and offers a holistic approach to health rebalancing the body through Japanese chiropractic, the mind through meditation and contrast baths, and improving eating habits with a diet based on brown rice and vegetables. To expand this philosophy outside the Kenko Dojo Center, Sunstar launched Kenko Dojo®, a healthy food brand which aims to re-balance our lifestyle habits to live healthier.
Woelber, Johan P., et al. « The influence of an anti‐inflammatory diet on gingivitis. A randomized controlled trial. » Journal of clinical periodontology 46.4 (2019): 481-490.
Van der Velden, U., D. Kuzmanova, and I. L. C. Chapple. « Micronutritional approaches to periodontal therapy. » Journal of clinical periodontology 38 (2011): 142-158.
Graziani, Filippo, et al. « The effect of twice daily kiwifruit consumption on periodontal and systemic conditions before and after treatment: A randomized clinical trial. » Journal of periodontology 89.3 (2018): 285-293.