Reconnecting Practicing Hygienists with the Nation's Leading Educators and Researchers.

Inflammation and Diet

Consuming a diet containing fewer pro-inflammatory foods and more anti-inflammatory foods may create less systemic and periodontal inflammation. One such diet, the Middle Eastern diet—which is consumed in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, and Lebanon—may provide significant health benefits, including a reduction in systemic and periodontal inflammation.

Inflammation and Diet

Consuming a diet containing fewer pro-inflammatory foods and more anti-inflammatory foods may create less systemic and periodontal inflammation. One such diet, the Middle Eastern diet—which is consumed in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, and Lebanon—may provide significant health benefits, including a reduction in systemic and periodontal inflammation.

Photo Credit: los_angela/ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES PLUS

Pro-Inflammatory Foods

Pro-inflammatory foods, such as refined carbohydrates, refined sugar, saturated fat, trans fat, most omega-6 fatty acids, some types of alcohol, red meat, and processed meat, can trigger or prolong systemic inflammation. Refined carbohydrates are also known to create oxidative stress and are linked to higher levels of C-reactive proteins.

Photo Credit: happy_lark/ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES PLUS

Bad Fats

Diets rich in saturated fats—such as those found in butter; cream; full-fat milk and cheese; lard; chicken skin; fatty cuts of beef, pork, and lamb; and processed meats, such as salami and sausage—increase oxidative stress and the intensity of and duration of inflammation. Trans-fats, which are found in fried products, processed snack foods, frozen food products, cookies, donuts, crackers, and margarine, increase production of cytokines, such as interleukin-6 and TNFa. Excess consumption of omega-6 fatty acids—such as those found in vegetable oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, salad dressings, fast food, cookies, cakes, chips, pork, beef, and butter—can trigger the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals.

Photo Credit: wildpixel/ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES PLUS

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Foods containing vitamins A, C, D, and E have been noted for their ability to reduce systemic inflammation. Fruits and vegetables are generally considered healthy food choices. Lower levels of C-reactive protein are found in those who consume high amounts of fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. The Middle Eastern diet includes many foods with anti-inflammatory properties. It includes more fresh foods and fewer processed foods. Middle Eastern dishes commonly contain spices like dill, garlic, mint, cinnamon, oregano, parsley, pepper, turmeric, cumin, and coriander. The Middle Eastern diet is low in refined carbohydrates; rich in omega-3 fatty acids; high in vitamins C, D, and E; and rich in fiber.

Photo Credit: peangdao/ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES PLUS

Nutritional Guidance in the Dental Chair

Providing nutritional advice to patients is within the scope of practice for dental hygienists in the US. Dietary counseling may include a discussion of the effect that diet has on systemic inflammation. This is especially helpful for patients who are obese or who are at risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. Patients may be guided to healthier options, such as the Middle Eastern diet. When treating a patient with gingival inflammation, anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory foods should be discussed. Gingival inflammation may be reduced through supplementation with fish oil. Periodontal tissues are more likely to heal better after nonsurgical periodontal therapy when fruits and vegetables are consumed regularly.

Photo Credit: PeopleImages/E+

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.