Micronutrients May Ward Off Gum Disease

Micronutrients in healthy foods may help keep gum disease at bay, according to a study published in Food & Function.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow sought to explore the antibacterial effects of polyphenols, micronutrients most of us consume in the form of fruits, vegetables, legumes, teas, wine, and chocolate. These nutrients are well known for their role in wellness and disease prevention, but the team of researchers posited that they might also help combat some of the most virulent periodontal pathogens.

They tested the antimicrobial effectiveness of select polyphenols against Streptococcus mitis, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Fusobacterium nucleatum, and Porphyromonas gingivalis, both in monospecies biofilms and in multi-species biofilms with significant results:

Of the 48 PPs tested, 43 showed effective inhibition of planktonic growth of one or more test strains, of which curcumin was the most potent, followed by pyrogallol, pyrocatechol, and quercetin.

The study authors noted that when it comes to significant reduction of multi-species biofilms, curcumin was by far the most effective. Curcumin is found largely in turmeric and in curried foods. Pyrogallol is primarily found in beer, cocoa, and coffee. Pyrocatechol occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables. Quercetin is found in many fruits, vegetables, wines, juices, and nuts.

And while more research is in the pipeline to further verify the effects of these micronutrient compounds on periodontal disease, the benefits of these foods for overall nutrition and wellness are undeniable.

So in case you need another reason to start eating better, doing so might just give you a healthier smile.

Source: Selected dietary (poly)phenols inhibit periodontal pathogen growth and biofilm formation