Research: CHAPPLE and co-workers,

Listed in Issue 150


CHAPPLE and co-workers, Periodontal Research Group, University of Birmingham, School of Dentistry, St. Chads Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6NN, UK,, have found that inflammation of the gum is correlated with low antioxidant levels in the blood.


Chronic periodontitis is an inflammatory disease that affects the supporting tissues of the teeth. It is initiated by specific bacteria within the plaque biofilm and progresses due to an abnormal inflammatory-immune response to those bacteria. Periodontitis is the major cause of tooth loss and is also significantly associated with an increased risk of stroke, type-2 diabetes and heart disease. Oxidative stress is reported in periodontitis both locally and peripherally (serum), providing potential mechanistic links between periodontitis and systemic inflammatory diseases. The aim of this study was to examine serum antioxidant concentrations in periodontal health/disease.


To determine whether serum antioxidant concentrations were associated with altered relative risk for periodontitis, multiple logistic regression was used for dual case definitions (both mild and severe disease) of periodontitis in an analysis of 11,480 NHANES III adult participants (>20 y of age).


Serum concentrations of vitamin C, bilirubin, and total antioxidants were inversely associated with periodontitis, the association being stronger in severe disease. Vitamin C and total antioxidants remained protective in never-smokers. Higher serum antioxidant concentrations were associated with lower odds ratios for severe periodontitis of 0.53 for vitamin C, 0.65 for bilirubin, and 0.63 for total antioxidants. In the subpopulation of never-smokers, the protective effect was more pronounced: 0.38 for vitamin C and 0.55 for total antioxidants.


Increased serum antioxidant concentrations are associated with a reduced relative risk of periodontitis even in never-smokers.


Chapple IL, Milward MR, Dietrich T. The prevalence of inflammatory periodontitis is negatively associated with serum antioxidant concentrations. Journal of Nutrition 137 (3): 657-664, Mar 2007.


Periodontitis (gum disease) is a significant cause of major, serious diseases. Antioxidants including vitamin C offer significant protection against periodontitis.

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