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Food for Thought: The Relationship Between Oral Health and Nutrition

Course Number: 583


Collecting dietary information and looking for clues of oral health status is the first step in nutritional counseling. As oral health experts, we know the mouth is the window for viewing internal health. Looking at a person’s rate of caries and tooth loss, disorders of the tongue such as atrophied papillae and glossitis, or other conditions such as a loss of lamina dura, angular cheilitis, or inadequate functioning salivary glands, just to name a few, may indication nutritional deficiencies.

Caries Management by Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) is an evidence-based approach for patient-specific caries management at its earliest stages. The first step involves categorizing caries risk based on the clinician's overall assessment of patient's disease indicators, caries protective factors, and caries predisposing factors. The guide below may be helpful as a visual aid during patient education to assess pathological challenges and whether a patient falls into a low, moderate, or high caries risk category.

AAPD Caries Risk Assessment Tool

Figure 15. AAPD Caries Risk Assessment Tool.20