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Fast Facts: Perio Edition – Pumpkin, Patients, and Periodontitis! OH MY!

Fast Facts: Perio Edition Episode 83
[Andrew Johnston, RDH]
Welcome back everyone! You are listening to another episode of Fast Facts- Perio Edition brought to you by A Tale of Two Hygienists in partnership with DentistRX. And now, please welcome your host, Katrina Sanders.

[Katrina Sanders, RDH]
Hello and welcome to Fast Facts: Perio Edition. This week we are loving up on Thanksgiving once again, this time talking about my favorite dessert and that is of course pumpkin pie. Who doesn’t love it when your waistband is so stretched out from that fabulous Thanksgiving dinner and yet you still find a little bit more room for a tiny little slice of pumpkin pie. And when we talk about pumpkin, we’re also talking about the effects of pumpkin on the periodontium. And yes, pumpkin does have an effect on the periodontium. In fact, pumpkin is extremely dense in vitamin A. We know that vitamin A plays a critical role in being able to create sustainability in health in the oral cavity. In fact, vitamin A plays a key role in maintenance of our oral epithelium. And we know that we can see a deficiency of vitamin A in the gingival tissues. We’ve seen in animal studies that individuals who present with a severe deficiency of vitamin A experience things like marginal gingivitis, gingival hypoplasia, or a proliferation of that gingival curricular epithelium and subsequent alveolar bone loss. We do find that vitamin A deficiency is quite rare, particularly in industrialized countries like the United States.
But that doesn’t mean that we should put the fork down because we do know how important it is for us to create a diverse and sustainable nutritional status in order to maintain our oral health and of course, subsequent systemic health.
Additionally, we’ve actually started to find anti-inflammatory benefits to pumpkin seed oil. Get this, a clinical study that was done in 2019 looked at the anti-inflammatory effects of pumpkin seed oil in the treatment of gingivitis. And interestingly enough, individuals in this study were instructed to brush their teeth twice a day, once in the morning and then once before bed, and then apply a few drops of pumpkin seed oil on the toothbrush and make a gentle massage motion for 1 minute to the gingiva the data was very interesting. We actually found conclusively in this study that pumpkin seed oil is a potent anti-inflammatory agent that can be used topically for the treatment of gingivitis without any subsequent side effects.
In fact, we’re even now beginning to see studies of individuals utilizing, or rather maximizing the high omega three and omega six fatty acids are linoleic and our linolenic acids as a wonderful source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help control plaque buildup and subsequently prevent oral inflammation.
So keep that pumpkin pie coming knowing that you are preventing oral inflammation. Cheers to Thanksgiving and cheers to all of you.
This has been another episode of Fast Facts – Perio Edition with Katrina Sanders, RDH. Please feel free to reach me on Instagram @thedentalwinegenist or on my website www.KatrinaSanders.com Cheers.
[Andrew Johnston, RDH]
Thank you for listening to another episode of Fast Facts – Perio Edition, brought to you in part by DentistRX makers of the InteliSonic line of power brushes. Find out more by visiting their website at www.dentistrx.com. We’ll see you next week for another Fast Fact!
Moynihan, P., & RPHNutr, S. R. D. (2008). Update on nutrition and periodontal disease. inflammation, 6,7.Othman, A. A., Saleh, M. F., & Saleh, T. M. (2019). The Anti Inflammatory Effect of Pumpkin Seeds Oil in Treatment of Gingivitis; Clinical Study. Indian Journal of Public Health Research & Development,10(10).

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