Whole food plant-based diets may reduce gingivitis, according to astudypublished in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

"Study results clearly demonstrate the possibility to naturally reduce gingivitis by an optimized diet that also promotes general health," said lead author Dr. Johan Woelber, of the University of Freiburg, Germany,in an article in Science Daily.

During the trial, 30 patients with gingivitis were randomly placed in an experimental and a control group. Over four weeks, the experimental group consumed a diet low in processed carbohydrates, animal proteins, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin D, antioxidants, plant nitrates, and fibers. The control group did not change their diet. Lastly, all participants suspended the use of dental floss and other tools to clean between their teeth.

While there were no differences regarding the plaque values, the experimental group showed a significant reduction in gingival bleeding, as well as a significant increase in vitamin D values and a significant weight loss.

"According to this," Dr. Woelber said in Science Daily, "dental teams should address dietary habits and give adequate recommendations in the treatment of gingivitis, since it might be a side effect of a pro-inflammatory western diet."