For older men, dieting may help cut gum disease risk more than for women, according to a new study.
In the study involving 81 rhesus monkeys, dieting helped reduce "periodontal breakdown".
The males fed a diet of 30 percent fewer calories for 13 to 17 years had significantly lower levels of a gum-damaging condition known as periodontal pocketing, less immune response to invading bacteria, and higher inflammatory molecules than males fed a normal diet.
Periodontal inflammation and disease start from bacteria.
While those not fed the reduced-calorie diet, showed "significantly greater periodontal breakdown" than females.
Consistent with previous studies of humans, the monkeys in the study showed an increasing degree of gum problems as they aged.
ging and obesity are associated with increased biological signs of overall inflammation and periodontal disease in humans, said Mark Reynolds, DDS, PhD, associate professor at the Dental School, part of UMB.
Although about one-third of adults aged 30 to 90 have periodontitis, attempts to study humans directly have been hampered by the environmental complexities of oral diseases and factors such as smoking.
The study is published in the journal Nutrition.