Oral health and nutrition in older people

J Public Health Dent. 2000 Fall;60(4):304-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-7325.2000.tb03339.x.


The theoretical link between foods choice and masticatory efficiency has long been established. Recent evidence has confirmed this association, demonstrating a progressive alteration in food choice with decreasing numbers of teeth, with the greatest effect being among those who are edentulous. This altered food selection results in significant differences in the hematological status for some key nutrients in the one study in which this association was investigated. This paper summarizes some of the literature relevant to diet as a risk factor for systemic disease and identifies areas where altered food choice as a consequence of reduced masticatory efficiency might be placing individuals at increased risk of life-threatening conditions, such as atherosclerosis and cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology
  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology
  • Diet
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Digestion / physiology
  • Food Preferences
  • Humans
  • Mastication / physiology
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage
  • Mouth, Edentulous / physiopathology
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Nutritional Status
  • Oral Health*
  • Risk Factors
  • Tooth Loss / physiopathology


  • Dietary Fiber
  • Micronutrients