Periodontal health related to plasma ascorbic acid.


Vaananen MK, Markkanen HA, Tuovinen VJ




Proc Finn Dent Soc


The exact relationship between plaque-induced periodontal diseases and vitamin C deficiency is not known. The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible effect of ascorbic acid (AA) on the severity of periodontal diseases. The periodontal condition of 75 dentulous subjects with a low level of AA in the plasma (< or = 25 mumol/l) was compared with that of 75 control subjects (plasma level > or = 50 mumol/l) matched for age, sex and number of teeth. The subjects were asked to list foods containing AA in their diet, and intake of AA in milligrams per day was calculated. The daily diet of the study subjects contained on average 52 mg +/- 24.9 (SD) of AA, and that of the controls 77 mg +/- 43.2 (SD). For each individual, site-specific recordings for the presence or absence of plaque and supra- and subgingival calculus, filling overhangs, gingival bleeding after probing, probing pocket depth, and gingival recession were made clinically in a double blind examination carried out by one dentist. Five per cent of the subjects in the study group (low plasma level of AA) and 18 per cent of the controls had healthy periodontal tissues. The proportion of sites in which bleeding after probing and a probing pocket depth of 4 mm or over were observed was significantly higher in the study group than in the controls. Sixty per cent of the subjects in the study group and 37 per cent of the controls had pathological pockets of 4 mm or over.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)