Dietary Fiber Intake Is Inversely Associated with Periodontal Disease among US Adults

J Nutr. 2016 Dec;146(12):2530-2536. doi: 10.3945/jn.116.237065. Epub 2016 Oct 26.


Background: Approximately 47% of adults in the United States have periodontal disease. Dietary guidelines recommend a diet providing adequate fiber. Healthier dietary habits, particularly an increased fiber intake, may contribute to periodontal disease prevention.

Objective: Our objective was to evaluate the relation of dietary fiber intake and its sources with periodontal disease in the US adult population (≥30 y of age).

Methods: Data from 6052 adults participating in NHANES 2009-2012 were used. Periodontal disease was defined (according to the CDC/American Academy of Periodontology) as severe, moderate, mild, and none. Intake was assessed by 24-h dietary recalls. The relation between periodontal disease and dietary fiber, whole-grain, and fruit and vegetable intakes were evaluated by using multivariate models, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and dentition status.

Results: In the multivariate logistic model, the lowest quartile of dietary fiber was associated with moderate-severe periodontitis (compared with mild-none) compared with the highest dietary fiber intake quartile (OR: 1.30; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.69). In the multivariate multinomial logistic model, intake in the lowest quartile of dietary fiber was associated with higher severity of periodontitis than dietary fiber intake in the highest quartile (OR: 1.27; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.62). In the adjusted logistic model, whole-grain intake was not associated with moderate-severe periodontitis. However, in the adjusted multinomial logistic model, adults consuming whole grains in the lowest quartile were more likely to have more severe periodontal disease than were adults consuming whole grains in the highest quartile (OR: 1.32; 95% CI: 1.08, 1.62). In fully adjusted logistic and multinomial logistic models, fruit and vegetable intake was not significantly associated with periodontitis.

Conclusions: We found an inverse relation between dietary fiber intake and periodontal disease among US adults ≥30 y old. Periodontal disease was associated with low whole-grain intake but not with low fruit and vegetable intake.

Keywords: NHANES; dietary fiber; epidemiology; nutrition; periodontal disease; whole grains.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Periodontal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Periodontal Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology