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Nutrition Today:
doi: 10.1097/NT.0b013e3181e98969
Continuing Education

It's More Than Just Candy: Important Relationships Between Nutrition and Oral Health

Palmer, Carole A. EdD, RD, LDN; Burnett, Dustin J. MS, RD; Dean, Brian MS, RD

Continued Education
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Abstract

Oral problems can affect and be affected by both diet and systemic nutrition. Dental caries (tooth decay) remains the most prevalent disease of children: 7 times more common than hay fever and five times more common than childhood asthma. The mouth is an early indicator of general health and nutritional status; clinical signs and symptoms of nutritional and other health problems frequently appear first in the oral cavity. Conversely, oral problems can have profound effects on nutritional status. Emerging research is revealing even more important relationships between nutrition and oral health issues and chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and immune-compromising conditions. Health care professionals should help their patients by asking patients about oral health concerns and referring patients for dental consults when indicated. Promoting good oral health as well as good nutrition is essential to optimal overall health status

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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