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Vegetarians ‘have better oral health than meat-eaters’

Individuals are regularly advised by health professionals to eat a healthy and balanced diet that is rich in nutritious foods and includes everything in moderation.

But it seems those people who abstain from eating meat could be doing wonders for their oral health, as vegetarians are less likely to suffer from tooth loss, bleeding gums and other life-threatening oral health conditions.

According to German scientists from the Department of Conservative Dentistry, Periodontology and Preventive Dentistry at the Hannover Medical School, those people who eat fresh fruit and vegetables can greatly reduce the risk of developing mouth cancer.

On top of this, it was discovered that vegetarians had significantly lower probing pocket depths, as well as bleeding on probing, a better hygiene index, less mobile teeth and a lower periodontal screening index.

Dental examinations on a group of 100 people who abstain from eating meat also found this group had fewer missing teeth than their meat-eating counterparts.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Nigel Carter – chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation – said that although the diet of a vegetarian can better their oral health, they may be at higher risk of certain vitamin deficiencies that could affect their teeth and gums.

A diet that is rich in minerals has been proven to help prevent gum disease, but veggies are under threat of not getting enough vitamin D and calcium – which could cause their teeth to soften, thus making them more vulnerable to tooth decay.

Some vegetarians may believe they are not at risk of these problems by abstaining from meat, so it is up to dental professionals to ensure their patients are fully informed about the implications a diet can have on oral health.

Promoting healthy teeth through dental marketing posters and leaflets will also give clear and concise information to those patients who are looking to find out more about improving the condition of their teeth and gums.

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