Low dietary vitamin C can increase the risk for periodontal disease, especially in smokers

August 15, 2000

A study released today in the August issue of the Journal of Periodontology found that people who consume less than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin C have slightly higher rates of periodontal disease. Researchers analyzed vitamin C intakes and periodontal disease indicators in 12,419 U.S. adults. They found that patients who consumed less than the recommended 60 mg per day (about one orange) were at nearly one-and-a-half times the risk of developing severe gingivitis as those who consumed three times the RDA (more than 180 mg). Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease, and it causes the gums to become red, swell and bleed easily.

Researcher Robert Genco, D.D.S., Ph.D., chair of the Oral Biology Department at The State University of New York at Buffalo, says the relationship between severe vitamin C deficiency and gum health has long been known. "In the late 18th century, sailors away at sea would eat limes to prevent their gums from bleeding," Genco said. "The relationship between vitamin C and periodontal disease is likely due to vitamin C's role in maintaining and repairing healthy connective tissue along with its antioxidant properties."

"Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disorder that increases tissue damage and loss. Since vitamin C is known as a powerful scavenger of reactive oxygen species, which form part of the body's antioxidant defense system, low levels of dietary vitamin C may compromise the body's ability to neutralize these tissue destructive oxidants," explained Genco.

Researchers also found that tobacco users especially had higher levels of periodontal disease if they also consumed lower levels of dietary vitamin C. "Since oxidants from cigarette smoking lower vitamin C levels in the blood, smokers need higher levels of dietary vitamin C to help counteract smoke's oxidants," said Genco.

"It's also important to add that cigarette smoke contains numerous oxidants that can cause periodontal tissue damage regardless of vitamin C intake," Genco added.

"Diet plays an important role in the overall well-being of oral health. Especially in light of other new research between calcium and periodontal disease," said Jack Caton, D.D.S., M.S., president of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP). "However, people need to keep in mind that vitamins, dietary supplements and good nutrition are not cures for periodontal disease. Patients must also brush and floss, and ask their dentist or periodontist about the state of their periodontal health to help prevent tooth loss."
-end-
A referral to a periodontist or a free brochure titled Periodontal Disease: What You Need to Know is available by calling 1-800-FLOSS-EM, or visit the AAP's Web site at www.perio.org.

The American Academy of Periodontology is a 7,000-member association of dental professionals specializing in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the gums and supporting structures of the teeth and in the placement and maintenance of dental implants. Periodontics is one of nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A copy of the study, Dietary Vitamin C and the Risk for Periodontal Disease, is available by calling 312-573-3246.

American Academy of Periodontology

Related Periodontal Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Forsyth researchers demonstrate how changing the stem cell response to inflammation may reverse periodontal disease
In new research published recently in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, Forsyth Institute scientists have discovered that a specific type of molecule may stimulate stem cells to regenerate, reversing the inflammation caused by periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease: Patent for new treatment method
New biodegradable rods promise to provide better treatment for periodontal disease.

Acute periodontal disease bacteria love colon and dirt microbes
Mythbuster: The idea that bacterial collaborations within microbiomes, like in the mouth, have evolved to be generous and exclusive very much appears to be wrong.

Metabolomic profiling of antibody response to periodontal pathogens
At the 97th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), Jaakko Leskela, University of Helsinki, Finland, gave an oral presentation on 'Metabolomic Profiling of Antibody Response to Periodontal Pathogens.'

New technique could help regrow tissue lost to periodontal disease
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of all Americans will have periodontal disease at some point in their lives.

Periodontal disease bacteria may kick-start Alzheimer's
Long-term exposure to periodontal disease bacteria causes inflammation and degeneration of brain neurons in mice that is similar to the effects of Alzheimer's disease in humans.

Systematic treatment of periodontal disease: Advantage of further therapeutic approaches
An indication or hint of greater benefit was now shown for six instead of two therapeutic measures.

Investigating the enigmatic link between periodontal inflammation and retinal degeneration
At the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), held in conjunction with the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), Hyun Hong, The Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University, presented a poster titled 'Investigating the Enigmatic Link Between Periodontal Inflammation and Retinal Degeneration.' The AADR/CADR Annual Meeting is in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., USA from March 21-24, 2018.

The subgingival virome in periodontal health and disease
At the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), held in conjunction with the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), Abby Siefker, The Ohio State University, Columbus, presented an oral session titled 'The Subgingival Virome in Periodontal Health and Disease.' The AADR/CADR Annual Meeting is in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., USA from March 21-24, 2018.

Oral microbiota indicates link between periodontal disease and esophageal cancer
An analysis of bacteria present in the mouth showed that some types of bacteria that lead to periodontal disease were associated with higher risk of esophageal cancer.

Read More: Periodontal Disease News and Periodontal Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.