Al-Zahrani MS - 31934 N - J Periodontol 2006 ; 77(2) : 289-94

Increased intake of dairy products is related to lower periodontitis prevalence

Background : An inverse association between calcium intake and periodontitis prevalence was recently reported. Dairy products are rich sources of calcium and other important nutrients. To date, it appears that the relationship between the intake of dairy products and periodontitis has not been investigated. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether or not there is an association between the intake of dairy products and periodontitis prevalence.Methods : A total of 12,764 individuals who participated in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were included in this study. Individuals who had at least one site with an attachment loss >/=3 mm and a probing depth >/=4 mm were considered to have periodontitis. The intake of dairy products was categorized into quintiles. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression models were used for data analyses.Results : Prevalence of periodontitis was 41% lower for individuals in the highest quintile of intake of dairy products than those in the lowest quintile (P <0.001 for trend). After adjusting for known and suspected periodontitis risk factors (age, gender, race\ethnicity, cigarette smoking, education, diabetes, poverty index, vitamin use, body mass index, physical activity, time since the last dental visit, dental calculus, and gingival bleeding), individuals in the highest quintile of intake of dairy products were 20% less likely to have periodontitis than those in the lowest quintile (P = 0.024 for trend).Conclusions : The results of this study showed an inverse association between the intake of dairy products and prevalence of periodontitis. Longitudinal and/or intervention studies are required to confirm these findings and to further examine the impact of a higher intake of dairy products on the prevention and treatment of periodontitis.