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 Do vegans have worse teeth than meat eaters?

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Pete
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PostSubject: Do vegans have worse teeth than meat eaters?   Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:05 am

This study suggests it might? Unfortunately, the abstract doesn't go into details about the food choices, nor can you tell what the peoples teeth were like before they changed diets. A vegan diet can be bags of sweets, sticky buns & soda pop, so just saying 'vegan diet' is a bit loose without some detail. Also they used some people who had only been vegan for 18 months. I don't know about you, but for the first few years I knew nothing about what to eat as a vegan. I didn't make the change for health or anything, the truth is at the time I was pretty much a party animal living on stims, alcohol & recreational substances, so checking out my diet wasn't that high a priority!
But it is something to consider. Make sure you are eating high mineral foods, get in your seaweeds, your fresh green veggies, you can even get some spirulina, chorella or similar if you like. I'd also suggest a multi vit/min just to cover your bases.
I don't think a balanced vegan diet will cause any de-mineralising of the teeth, obviously I can't say for sure, but you can see ways things can go wrong if you don't make a tiny effort just to add in a few higher mineral foods.
As vegans we tend to have different issues to our omni friends, they suffer from a 1 in 4 chance of obesity (in the US & UK - slightly less elsewhere in the western world), with all it's related problems. As vegans we can suffer from possible B12 issues & possibly lower levels of some minerals & lower levels of total calories in some cases.
As a side note I went to Turin (the study was done in Turin) & met a lot of the vegans over there in 2009, they were a friendly bunch, but did eat a lot of white flour stuff (like pizza), vegan ice cream & chocolate - at least at the Turin vegfest, but thenwe ate quite badly as well because that was what most of the food was on sale there!
Anyway here's the abstract from the study:

Quote :
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21217622?dopt=Abstract

Minerva Stomatol. 2010 Nov-Dec;59(11-12):583-91.
Oral implications of the vegan diet: observational study.

Laffranchi L, Zotti F, Bonetti S, Dalessandri D, Fontana P.

Doctoral school in "Medicine and Experimental Therapy", Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy - auralaff@libero.it.
Abstract

AIM: The aim of this study was to investigate oral changes in subjects who have assumed a vegan diet for a long time (at least 18 months), that is to say, a diet completely lacking in meat and animal derivatives.

METHODS: A sample of 15 subjects was analyzed, all from northern Italy and aged 24 to 60 year, composed of 11 men and 4 women who had been following a vegan diet for a minimum of 18 months to a maximum of 20 years. In parallel with the study sample, a control group (15 subjects) with the same criteria of age, sex, and place of origin all following an omnivorous diet was chosen. The sample answered a questionnaire that investigated their eating habits, the frequency with which they eat meals, the main foodstuffs assumed, oral hygiene habits, and any painful symptomatology of the teeth or more general problems in the oral cavity. The sample was then subject to objective examination in which the saliva pH was measured and the teeth were checked for demineralization of the enamel, white spots, and caries (using KaVo DIAGNOdent) with particular attention being paid to the localization of these lesions, and lastly, sounding was carried out to detect any osseous defects and periodontal pockets.

RESULTS: The study revealed greater incidence of demineralization and white spots in the vegan subjects compared to the omnivorous ones localized at the neck of the teeth and on the vestibular surfaces of dental elements (with the exception of the lower anterior group). The saliva pH, more acid in the omnivorous patients, ranged between four and six. Changes in oral conditions in both groups of subjects were observed.

CONCLUSION: In order to research into the cause-effect relationship of the vegan diet on the oral cavity effectively, the sample needs to be studied for a longer period of time and the results re-evaluated.
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PostSubject: Re: Do vegans have worse teeth than meat eaters?   Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:28 pm

Hmmm, minimum of 18months, I would take this study with a grain of salt. I can't think of any logical reason why this could be so. Maybe they found the most dirty, mindless hippy vegans to participate, who don't believe in brushing their teeth, haha. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Do vegans have worse teeth than meat eaters?   Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:46 pm

15 people doesn't seem like much of a sample. Wonder how random a sample it was also.
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PostSubject: Re: Do vegans have worse teeth than meat eaters?   Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:51 pm

You're right there. 15 is a small study to draw any conclusions.
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