There is little question that dental health can have an impact on a person's overall wellbeing, but can other lifestyle factors influence the health of your teeth and gums?
According to a new primate study published in the journal Nutrition, the answer is yes. Researchers at the University of Maryland-Baltimore's Dental School say dieting may help men cut their risk of gum disease.
In fact, they found this effect was much more pronounced in male monkeys - particularly older ones - than in females.
Around one in three adults aged 30 to 90 suffers from periodontal disease, the researchers say. The chances of developing this dental health problem increase as a person grows older.
The scientists compared the dental health of a group of monkeys which had been fed a restricted calorie diet with that of a group that had been fed a higher calorie diet. They discovered that in the first group, males had a lower rate of gum disease.
"Dietary restriction has been shown to reduce the risk for chronic disease and promote longevity in multiple animal models," said lead author Dr Mark Reynolds.
He added "chronic inflammation" was the crucial underlying factor that seems to link dental health and certain diseases.
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