Periodontal disease refers to a group of inflammatory diseases that affect structures in the mouth such as the gums, ligaments, and jawbone. Over half of all adults over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease; initial symptoms usually include bleeding and swollen gums – a condition known as gingivitis.
Although a number of risk factors for periodontal disease such as have been identified, experts are still unable to explain the exact disease process. Current periodontal treatments only focus on controlling the disease and attempting to restore damaged tissue. Unfortunately, success rates for these treatments fall short of 100%, as complete regeneration of oral tissue is near impossible.
Experts have now turned their attention to the role oxidative stress plays in fueling the inflammatory processes associated with periodontal disease. In this article, published in Antioxidants, the authors review how nutrition impacts on both the establishment and persistence of gum-related conditions. Significantly, research suggests saturated fats are more likely to induce oxidative stress than unsaturated fats so dietary advice regarding fat substitution may help improve treatment outcomes, for healthier gums.