Diet and nutrition implications for oral health

J Dent Hyg. 2002 Winter;76(1):67-78; quiz 79-81.


Dental hygienists are in a unique position to provide both oral hygiene instruction and basic nutrition information related to oral health. Many clients may not be aware of the effects of diet and nutritional status on the development and maintenance of a healthy mouth and caries-free teeth. It is vitally important for dental hygienists to perform basic nutrition screening to assess clients' dietary habits for potential risk factors for dental caries and periodontal disease, and to look for potential signs of nutritional deficiencies or nutrition-related problems in clients with chronic diseases or conditions. Collaboration between dietetics professionals and oral health care professionals is essential in identifying, educating, and treating oral health problems related to nutrition. Such partnerships will encourage improved levels of oral health care. The purposes of this course are to review the links between nutrition and oral health and to discuss how oral health care professionals can integrate nutrition counseling aimed at improving the oral health of their clients into their practices.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Dental Caries / etiology*
  • Diet, Cariogenic*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / adverse effects
  • Health Education, Dental*
  • Humans
  • Mouth Diseases / etiology
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Nutrition Disorders / complications
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Oral Health*
  • Saliva / physiology


  • Dietary Carbohydrates