The association between dietary vitamin C intake and periodontitis: result from the NHANES (2009-2014)

BMC Oral Health. 2022 Sep 8;22(1):390. doi: 10.1186/s12903-022-02416-7.


Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether periodontitis is associated with dietary vitamin C intake, using data from The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2009-2014.

Methods: The study included 5145 adults (age ≥ 30 years) with periodontitis as a dichotomous variable and daily intake of vitamin C as a continuous variable. Multiple sets of covariates, such as age, sex, number of flossing, etc., were selected. Using EmpowerStats version 3.0, multivariate logistic regression analysis and hierarchical analysis were performed on the data, and curve fitting graphs were made.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences (P > 0.05) between the four dietary vitamin C intake groups (quartiles, Q1-Q4) and covariates (drinking alcohol and hypertension). The low VC intake group (Q1) was more prone to periodontitis than Q2, Q3, and Q4 (all OR < 1.00). A threshold nonlinear association was found between vitamin C (mg) log10 transformation and periodontitis in a generalized additive model (GAM) (P = 0.01).

Conclusion: The relationship between dietary vitamin C intake and the likelihood of periodontitis was non-linear. The smallest periodontitis index occurred when dietary vitamin C intake was 158.49 mg. Too little or too much vitamin C intake increases periodontitis.

Keywords: Dietary vitamin C intake; NHANES database; Periodontitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Diet*
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Nutritional Status
  • Periodontitis* / epidemiology


  • Ascorbic Acid