Reports & Studies

Can yoghurt reduce tooth loss ...?

PD Dr. Kristina Bertl, PhD MSc MBA

Many beneficial effects on our health are attributed to the consumption of dairy products. Research indicates that there is a lower risk of diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. It also describes beneficial effects specifically for the oral cavity thanks to the consumption of dairy products. Certain studies, for example, showed that high and regular consumption of dairy products led to a lower risk of periodontitis. However, this could depend on the type of dairy products, with yoghurt possibly being more beneficial than milk. The results from studies are, however, not conclusive. A Japanese research group (Ma et al. 2022) has therefore addressed this subject again and conducted a very interesting study.

Can yoghurt reduce tooth loss ...?
Can yoghurt reduce tooth loss ...?

In this study, nearly 2,000 Japanese men and women aged between 40 and 79 were examined in 2012 and nearly 1,500 participants were re-examined five years later in 2017. This enabled both the rate of tooth loss during these five years to be determined, and the average consumption of yoghurt products to be estimated using a dietary questionnaire. The composition of the microbiome in the saliva was also examined.

The authors were able to draw the following conclusion based on an extensive statistical analysis:

  • There was a significant link between an increased consumption of yoghurt products and a lower rate of tooth loss, even after corrections were made for several possible influencing factors.
  • The study also showed that this could probably be due to a beneficial effect of the yoghurt products both on periodontal health and on the oral microbiome.
  • An increased consumption of yoghurt products was also associated with better clinical periodontal parameters, i.e. lower mean probing depths and bleeding scores.

This study has, of course, certain limitations: for example, the exact cause of the tooth loss was unfortunately not known. On the other hand, however, the study also has some strengths, such as its partly prospective character over five years. By way of summary, however, this study reaffirms the importance of nutrition for our oral health and this should be borne in mind when we treat our patients.


  1. Ma, J., Furuta, M., Uchida, K., Takeshita, T., Kageyama, S., Asakawa, M., Takeuchi, K., Suma, S., Sakata, S., Hata, J., Sohn, W., Ninomiya, T., & Yamashita, Y. (2022). Yoghurt product intake and reduction of tooth loss risk in a Japanese community. Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 49(4), 345–352.