Effect of the Mediterranean diet on gingivitis: A randomized controlled trial

J Clin Periodontol. 2022 Feb;49(2):111-122. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.13576. Epub 2021 Dec 5.


Aim: This study aimed to investigate the effects of a 6-week Mediterranean diet (MD) intervention on gingival inflammatory and anthropometric parameters of patients with gingivitis.

Materials and methods: Forty-two participants were allocated to MD group (MDG) or control group (CG). After a 2-week equilibration period regarding dental care procedures, only MDG changed their diet to MD for 6 weeks, supported by a diet counselling. Gingival and anthropometric parameters were assessed at baseline (T0), Week 2 (T1, beginning of MD intervention), and Week 8 (T2). Adherence to MD was assessed by the Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS); dietary behaviour was evaluated by the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults Food Frequency Questionnaire (DEGS-FFQ).

Results: Plaque values remained constant in both groups. Inflammatory periodontal and anthropometric parameters decreased in the MDG only (gingival index: T1 1.51 ± 0.21, T2 1.49 ± 0.24; bleeding on probing: T1 51.00 ± 14.65, T2 39.93 ± 13.74; body weight: T1 79.01 ± 15.62, T2 77.29 ± 17.00; waist circumference: T1 84.41 ± 10.1, T2 83.17 ± 10.47 (p < .05). MEDAS revealed a sufficient diet adherence for MDG.

Conclusion: Within this study, gingival inflammatory parameters were significantly reduced by MD, whereas plaque parameters remained constant. The diet counselling achieved sufficient adherence with beneficial changes in weight loss and waist circumference.

Keywords: gingivitis; periodontal disease.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Weight
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Gingivitis* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Periodontal Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Associated data

  • DRKS/00025103