Nutrition and Dental Health

Authored by: Wenyuan Shi , David Heber

Handbook of Nutrition and Food

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781466505711
eBook ISBN: 9781466505728
Adobe ISBN:


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Dental care is estimated to cost approximately 60 billion dollars per year, making it the third largest expenditure of health-care dollars in the United States. 1 Nutrition is intimately involved in the prevention and etiology of both dental caries or tooth decay and periodontal disease, which are the major dental disorders. Furthermore, gingivitis and periodontal disease can be risk factors for cardiovascular (CV) disease as well as being closely associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). Recent research has demonstrated that certain polyphenols from fruits and vegetables as well as botanicals can inhibit biofilm formation and may have a role to play in the prevention of dental diseases beyond current proven practices of fluoridation and regular dental hygiene. In many populations, dental caries has been identified as one of the most prevalent chronic conditions affecting from 60% to 90% of children. In children in industrialized countries, dental caries are up to five times more prevalent than the second most prevalent chronic condition in children, asthma. 2 Dental caries are a major cause of pain and infection that can have severe consequences for the quality of life of the affected children and their families. 3 The second important characteristic is that dental caries in children are mostly preventable. 4 6

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