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You Are What You Eat: Nutrition and Periodontal Health

Course Number: 664


Dietary consumption and overall nutrition have been associated with the development of many health conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, and cancer.3 Diet has been defined as the habitual eating patterns of an individual, whereas nutrition refers to the science of food intake and biological processes involved in consumption and utilization of nutrients.4,5 Nutrients can be categorized into macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids), micronutrients (minerals, vitamins), and water.4 Overall caloric intake as well as macronutrient consumption have been associated with oral and overall health status.3,5 Further, approximately 10% of the US population is thought to have at least one clinically significant nutritional deficiency.6 The most common deficiencies identified in US individuals include: Vitamin B, Iron, and Vitamin D.7 It is also well-established that oral health status can impact the types of foods that individuals consume. Compromised oral health is associated with a marked decrease in whole food consumption and an increase in processed food consumption.8 Such changes in diet have the potential to impact both oral and systemic health. Given the impact of diet and on overall health and oral health, oral healthcare providers should strive to understand the interaction between nutritional intake and periodontal health.