N Ng et al, 2013, Coffee consumption and periodontal disease in men, Journal of Peridontology, published online ahead of print.

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Background: Coffee is a major dietary source of anti-oxidants as well as of other ant-inflammatory factors. Given the beneficial role of such factors in periodontal disease, we explored whether coffee intake is associated with periodontal disease in adult men. Methods: We used existing data collected by a prospective, closed-panel cohort study of aging and oral health in adult men. Participants included the 1,152 dentate men in the VA Dental Longitudinal Study who presented for comprehensive medical and dental examinations between 1968 and 1998. Mean age at baseline was 48 years; men were followed for up to 30 years. Participants are not VA patients; rather, they receive their medical and dental care in the private sector. Periodontal status was assessed by Probing Pocket Depth (PD), Bleeding on Probing (BOP), and radiographic Alveolar Bone Loss (ABL), measured on intraoral periapical radiographs with a modified Schei ruler method. Moderate-to-severe periodontal disease was defined as cumulative numbers of teeth ever exhibiting PD≥4mm or ABL ≥40%. Coffee intake was obtained from participant self-reports using the Cornell Medical Index (CMI) and Food Frequency Questionnaires (FFQ). Multivariate repeated measures generalized linear models estimated mean number of teeth with moderate-to-severe disease at each examination by coffee intake level.
Results: We found that higher coffee consumption was associated with a small but significant reduction in number of teeth with periodontal bone loss. We found no evidence that coffee consumption was harmful to periodontal health. Conclusion: Coffee consumption may be protective against periodontal bone loss in adult men.

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