Objective: To assess the relationship between dietary intake of folate and gingival bleeding in non-smoking adults in Japan.
Materials and methods: Data were obtained from residents who participated in the regional nutrition survey and survey of dental diseases conducted by the administrative office of northernmost prefecture of Japan. Dietitians visited households to collect data on dietary intake. Clinical parameters, including Community Periodontal Index (CPI) and bleeding on probing (BOP), were examined in community centers. Information on smoking habit was obtained from the interview. Then the data from 497 non-smoking adults with 20 teeth or more, aged 18 years or older, were analyzed. The relationship between dietary intake of folic acid and gingival bleeding status was estimated using multivariate analysis.
Results: Pearson's correlation coefficient showed a significant negative correlation between dietary folate level and bleeding on probing. The negative association between folate level and bleeding on probing remained statistically significant in multiple regression analysis (standardized beta = -0.204, P < 0.001). However, no significant association was found between CPI scores and folate intake level.
Conclusions: The results suggest that dietary intake of folic acid, an important indicator of gingival bleeding in adults, may provide an important clinical target for intervention to promote gingival health.