Background: A previous study showed the relationship between the intake of dairy products and periodontitis, but the types of dairy products that confer a benefit on periodontal health status have not been determined. Methods: We analyzed 942 subjects aged 40 to 79 years as part of a comprehensive health examination of Hisayama Town, Fukuoka, Japan. Probing depth (PD) and clinical attachment loss (CAL) were used as the periodontal parameters. The dietary survey was conducted using a semiquantitative food frequency method. We examined the relationship between the intake of dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and lactic acid foods (yogurt and lactic acid drinks), and periodontal condition. Results: The daily intake of lactic acid foods in subjects with generalized deep PD or severe CAL was significantly lower than that in subjects with localized deep PD or slight CAL. In multivariate linear regression analysis, the increased intake of lactic acid foods was associated significantly with lower mean PD (P= 0.002) and lower mean CAL (P= 0.003). In multivariate logistic regression analysis, the subjects eating ≥55 g lactic acid foods per day had a significantly lower prevalence of deep PD and severe CAL compared to those not eating these foods after adjusting for confounding variables; the odds ratios for generalized deep PD and severe CAL were 0.40 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.23 to 0.70) and 0.50 (95% CI: 0.29 to 0.87), respectively. Conclusion: The routine intake of lactic acid foods may have a beneficial effect on periodontal disease.
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