Maintaining natural teeth: a pillar of nutrition and health
Friday, 11 Nov
Diseases of the oral cavity, both local and systemic, can have a significant impact on ability to consume an adequate diet and consequently maintain optimal nutrition status.
The impact of tooth loss, edentulism, and removable prostheses on dietary habits, diet adequacy, masticatory function, olfaction, and gastrointestinal disorders has been well documented. Inadequate intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is common in edentulous individuals or those individuals with maxillary and mandibular complete dentures, resulting in an inadequate intake of dietary fiber and vitamins A and C. Disorders of taste and smell can affect appetite and salivary flow and compromise dietary intake.
Orofacial pain, salivary disorders, and oral movement disorders can also have a negative impact on appetite and impair normal oral function and eating ability. The relationship between oral disease and nutrition is synergistic. Oral diseases, along with acute, chronic, and terminal systemic diseases with oral manifestations, impact functional ability to eat as well as nutritional well-being. Physical limitations, visual and cognitive problems frequent in older adults might impair proper oral care. Precarious oral health has negative effects on overall health, and has been associated with chronic inflammation and increased risk of cardiovascular events. Significant relationships have been found between the number of remaining teeth, the length of the edentulous period, and cognitive function.