Nutrition and mouth health, the link is much more multifaceted than one might think. In fact, there is not only the link between sugars and cavities that we have known since we were children, but there are also foods and, in case of a proven lack of some nutrients, supplements that protect the oral cavity from inflammation and cavities. This is the result of two recent scientific studies that both appeared in the journal Nutrients. The first, performed by a Portuguese team, studied the link between vitamin D and caries in children (Silva et al, Nurtients, 2021), the second, carried out by a Polish team, analyzed the role of some types of polyphenols useful against periodontitis (Nawrot Hadzik et al, Nutrients, 2021).
The first research sought to understand whether a lack of vitamin D can cause an increase in tooth decay in children. To understand this, the scientists analyzed oral health and blood test data from 335 children that were all 7 years old. What emerged was that children who had vitamin D values ??below 30 ng / mol, the limit value below which we speak of vitamin D deficiency, also had a higher risk of presenting advanced caries than those who had normal values ??of vitamin D, namely higher than 30 ng / mol.
The second study analyzed how some polyphenols contained in commonly consumed foods can protect against the risk of developing periodontitis, which is an inflammation that affects the gums, can lead to bleeding and, in severe cases, even tooth mobility. What emerged is that the proanthocyanidins contained, for example, in cranberries, are able to inhibit the attack to the tissues of the bacteria responsible for this inflammation, such as Porphyromonas gingivalis, and the formation of bacterial plaque. The active ingredient in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate, also showed a beneficial effect. In particular, this substance is able to prevent the penetration of bacteria into the tissues and to inhibit the release of enzymes that promote the proliferation and survival of the bacteria responsible for periodontitis.