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White Papers & Research
Nutritional Modulation of Periodontal Disease: The Missing Link
By Kimberly R. Miller, RDH, BSDH
March 2011

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory condition. The scientific community has been looking at the benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet to modulate the effects of inflammation and oxidation at a cellular level. According to Ian Chapple, researchers have found irrefutable evidence that macronutrients and micronutrients modulate proinflammatory activity, which has the potential to influence a person’s baseline inflammatory status. (1)

Periodontal disease is associated with type 2 diabetes, heart disease and increased risk of stroke. All of these conditions have an inflammatory component. In order for the cells to fight inflammation serum antioxidant levels must be adequate to fuel the cellular battle known as oxidation or oxidative stress. In a study which examined serum antioxidant concentrations in both periodontally healthy and diseased patients, it was determined that antioxidant levels can alter the relative risk for periodontitis. ‘Serum antioxidant concentrations were inversely associated with periodontitis; the association being stronger in severe disease. Higher serum antioxidant concentrations were associated with lower odds ratios for severe periodontitis.’(1,4)

In another study, the effect of antioxidant rich green tea was associated with a modest reduction in mean pocket depth.(2) Yet another study demonstrated that the higher the intake of omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA & EPA, the lower the incidence of periodontitis and other diseases associated with inflammation.(3) For a full review of the literature supporting nutritional modulation of periodontal disease visit Dentistry IQ by following this link: Click Here

I propose to you that the reason we have not addressed nutrition from the dental chair, beyond taking Vitamin C and CoQ10, is that there is no way to quantify it, no way to measure the effectiveness of nutritional supplementation, until now. The patented Pharmanex BioPhotonic Scanner is the world’s first immediate, noninvasive method of measuring overall carotenoid antioxidant activity. Carotenoids are the most powerful antioxidants available with the ability to neutralize a maximum number of free radicals.

The BioPhotonic scanner uses Resonance Raman Technology, discovered by C. V. Raman in 1930 for which he won a Noble Prize. This science, which has been used for years by hospitals and physicians world wide to diagnose macular degeneration, is now available to the general public as a way to determine skin carotenoid scores (SCS). Your SCS is reflective of your diet and cellular nutrition. According to the National Institute for Health and the National Cancer Institute, the average American is undernourished, not consuming anywhere near the 9-13 servings of fruits and vegetables recommended to fight and prevent disease; only .9% of adolescents meet the RDA, 2.2% of adult men and only 3.5% of adult women meet the RDA.(5)

“Skin Carotenoid scores can be indicative of oxidative stress in the body and is an important advance in antioxidant research and may potentially be the most important discovery with the Pharmanex BioPhotonic Scanner. These findings should encourage consumers to know their[scores] and increase their consumption of more fruits and vegetables while continuing to supplement."
Lester Packer, Ph.D. (The world's foremost antioxidant research scientist.)

To learn more about how you can incorporate antioxidant screening into your daily patient care, contact me at

(1) The Prevalence of Inflammatory Periodontitis Is Negatively Associated with Serum Antioxidant Concentrations, Iain L. Chapple, Mike R. Milward, Thomas Detrich; The Journal of Nutrition, Nutritional Epidemiology, 137: 657-644, 2007
(2) Relationship Between Intake of Green Tea and Periodontal Disease, Kushiyama, Shimazaki, Murakami and Yamashita; Journal of Periodontology, March 2009, vol.80.No. 3, Pages 372-377
(3) Omega-3 fatty acids prevent and may reverse gum disease naturally,, Nov, 12, 2010
(4) Low Antioxidant Levels Associated with Periodontal Disease, J Am Dent Assoc, Vol 134, No.1, 20., 2003
(5) Fruit and Vegetable Intake Among Adolescents and Adults in the United States: Percentage Meeting Individualized Recommendations, Joel Kimmons, PhD, Cathleen Gillespie, MS, Jennifer Seymour, PhD, Mary Serdula, MD, and Heidi Michels Blanck, PhD, NIH & NCI

©2011 Richard Nagelberg, DDS & Kim Miller, RDH, BSDH, RDHMP