Dairy Products! Way To Periodontal Health

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A recent article in Jol Of Periodontology reports the beneficial effects of dairy products on periodontal disease. Study Abstract. This is an interesting finding which encourages one to intake more dairy products in ones diet. Looking critically into the study, we find facts that should be considered.

The study included a study population between the ages of 40 through 79 years. The older population has an increased prevalence of periodontal disease and osteoporosis. Research has shown a relationship between osteoporosis and alveolar bone loss. Decreased mineral density in the body, including jaw bone, would leave alveolar bones more susceptible to periodontal disease.

The study included dairy products like milk, cheese, and lactic acid foods (yogurt and lactic acid drinks). Lactic acid is known to increase calcium absorption in the intestine. Consumption of foods rich in lactose is bound to produce more lactic acid, lowering the local pH and bringing it to the ideal level of calcium absorption. Research has shown the correlation between poor absorption, decreased intake of lactose, and poor absorption of calcium, a factor that can lead to the development of osteoporosis and fractures.

Another interesting fact about Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) is that they are immuno-modulatory and stimulate the nonspecific host defense mechanism. This results in increased phagocytic activity and the release of immunological molecules such as secretory IgA, which acts against pathogens. Some of the lactic acid bacterial strains are shown to produce biosurfactants. These surfactants exhibit solid adhesive properties against some of the known oral bacteria like S.mutans, S.epidermidis, and C. Albicans to various substrata. These surfactants coat the substratum and thereby change its physiochemical properties of it. This, in turn, would interfere with the adhesion of the target strains, either inhibiting their adhesion or releasing bound cells, which could affect the composition of the plaque formed. Therefore the presence of more LAB in the oral cavity could act as a probiotic and be beneficial.

So definitely, consuming foods rich in lactic acid (Dairy foods) would improve our oral and general health in more than one way…..So next time, just remember to have more cheese on your pizza!!.

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