Dental diets have two benefits; mechanical removal of plaque and sequestration (trapping) of minerals that will cling to the bacterial plaque and lead to calculus.
The calculus is a very late stage in the gingivitis process and although there is a benefit to having clean teeth, having healthy gums is the goal. So every effort should be made to address the infected gums in addition to keeping ahead of the buildup on the teeth. Because calculus is a hiding place for bacteria, it is a good idea to get rid of it or to prevent it in the first place. On this basis I do recommend the special dental diets.
In my experience the best results have been with diets that combine both the mineral trapping and the mechanical removal of plaque. We carry some dry foods that function in both the mechanical and the mineral trapping methods. These foods can be purchased on-line from our products page.
There are other diets that have either the calcium trapping mechanism or the mechanical benefit but by the time I see a patient, the usually benefit from the combination diet.