The DASH Diet – otherwise known as the Dietary Approached to Stop Hypertension diet – was originally developed to lower blood pressure. But new research shows that the diet is linked to a number of other health benefits, including better dental health.
In a new survey, researchers followed 533 men ages 47 to 90. The men had dental exams every three years over a 20-year period. A trained examiner checked the men for signs of root cavities, which can occur if the gums recede and expose the root surface. Root cavities lead to tooth loss.
DASH Diet Shown to Lower Chance of Root Cavities
The researchers distributed diet questionnaires to document the fullest extent to which the men’s diet matched the DASH plan, which emphasizes fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, dietary fiber, whole grains, and limited added sugar. Men whose diets most closely matched a DASH plan scored 30% lower on a scale that assessed the chance of developing new or repeat root cavities.
Although this research links a DASH diet to better overall dental health, researchers say it does not conclusively demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship. The sum of sugar in the men’s diet did not appear to explain the pattern. Instead, scientists speculate that a higher-quality diet and its particular mixture of proper carbohydrates may help to prevent tooth decay and tooth loss.
Revamp Your Diet for Better Dental Health
While I won’t endorse one diet over another, I do recommended that all my patients follow a diet that is relatively low in sugar and complex carbohydrates — both main culprits of tooth decay.
The following articles may help you:
- 10 Ways to Break a Sugar Habit
- How Much Sugar Do American’s Consume?
- Study Shows What Happens When You Cut Sugar from Kids’ Diets
- Soda, Fruit Juice the Biggest Causes of Dental Erosion