Vegetarians and Gum health

Vegetarians do it better?

A recent German study concluded that  Vegetarians have a better periodontal status (less inflammation, less bleeding) compared to meat-eaters.  
However, the same study concluded that Vegetarians have more tooth decay and tooth wear. They also visit the dentist LESS frequently.  Also, lower acceptance of fluoride (Fluoride is made with beef tallow) amongst Vegetarians is probably to blame for the higher degree of tooth decay.
My observations in my practice are similar, especially in patients who do not use fluoride; I see significantly more decay.  I also observe that heavy meat eaters have in general, more gum inflammation. That might a result of a generally less healthy lifestyle (less fruit and veg) or a higher degree of generalised “inflammation” in meat-eaters.
In my 26 years of practice (October 2020), I am more and more convinced that most dental problems, including gum disease, are “man-made”.  It is well known that environmental factors, such as nutrition, can epigenetically modify a genetic profile. I.e. a high risk (*genetically) patient can through modification of environmental factors (nutrition is one of those factors) negate a periodontal risk and achieve good oral health. Socio-economic factors play a huge role here as eduction about nutrition and a healthy lifestyle is unfortunately unequally delivered in the UK.   


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