Scientists from Kyushu University and elsewhere found higher yogurt intake is linked to a lower risk of tooth loss.
Tooth loss is a process in which one or more teeth come loose and fall out.
Tooth loss is normal for deciduous teeth (baby teeth) when a person’s adult teeth replace them.
Otherwise, losing teeth is undesirable and results from injury or disease, such as dental avulsion, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Periodontitis, also called gum disease, is a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue and, without treatment, can destroy the bone that supports your teeth.
Periodontitis can cause teeth to loosen or lead to tooth loss. Periodontitis is common but largely preventable.
In the current study, researchers aimed to evaluate the long-term association between yogurt intake and oral health.
The team examined 1967 Japanese residents aged 40-79 years who underwent dental examinations in 2012.
Among them, 1469 participants were followed up in 2017 for the incidence of tooth loss, which was defined as two or more teeth lost over 5 years.
The intake of yogurt products, defined as yogurt and lactic acid beverages, was estimated with a food questionnaire. The researchers also examined the salivary microbiota in these people.
The results showed that a higher intake of yogurt products was associated with a lower risk of tooth loss.
They confirmed that gum disease condition partly influenced the effect of yogurt product intake on tooth loss, while dental caries experience did not.
Additionally, the researchers confirmed the association of a high intake of yogurt products with a low percentage of the salivary microbiota pattern, which was linked to poor oral health.
These findings suggest that the intake of yogurt products is linked to a lower risk of tooth loss resulting from periodontal disease, maybe via modulation of the oral microbiome composition.
The research was published in The Journal of Clinical Periodontology and conducted by Jiele Ma et al.
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