The association between periodontal disease, physical activity and healthy diet among adults in Jordan

J Periodontal Res. 2011 Feb;46(1):74-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0765.2010.01314.x. Epub 2010 Sep 22.


Background and objective: Physical inactivity and an unhealthy diet have been implicated as risk factors for several chronic diseases that are known to be associated with periodontitis, such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity and diabetes. Studies investigating the relationship between periodontitis and physical activity and diet are limited. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine the relationship between physical activity, healthy eating habits and periodontal health status.

Material and methods: A systematic random sample of 340 persons, 18-70 years of age, was selected from persons accompanying their relative patients who attended the outpatient clinics in the medical center of Jordan University of Science and Technology in north of Jordan. Data collected included socio-demographic and clinical characteristics, anthropometric measurements, physical activity level and dietary assessment.

Results: Individuals who were highly physically active had a significantly lower average plaque index, average gingival index, average clinical attachment loss (CAL) and percentage of sites with CAL ≥ 3 mm compared to individuals with a low level of physical activity and individuals with a moderate level of physical activity. Those who had a poor diet had a significantly higher average number of missing teeth and an average CAL compared with those who had a good diet. In the multivariate analysis, a low level of physical activity and a poor diet (diets with a healthy eating index score of < 50 points) were significantly associated with increased odds of periodontitis.

Conclusions: A low physical activity level and a poor diet were significantly associated with increased odds of periodontal disease. Further studies are needed to understand this relationship in greater detail.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Dental Plaque / prevention & control
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Diagnosis, Oral
  • Diet*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Jordan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Malnutrition / complications
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Obesity / complications
  • Periodontal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Periodontal Diseases / etiology
  • Periodontal Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Periodontal Index
  • Prevalence
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Social Class
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult