Objective: Oral health plays an important role in an individual's eating choices, which in turn ensure good nutrition throughout life. The deterioration in diet quality may partially explain the association between tooth loss and several systemic diseases, including osteoporosis. The study evaluated the association between oral health and calcium (Ca) and vitamin D nutritional status. The effect of several dietary and lifestyle habits was also evaluated.
Material and methods: One hundred six women aged 23.7 ± 0.4 years were evaluated. Ca intake (CaI) and protein intake were recorded, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) was evaluated. Dental status and caries risk were assessed by determining the number of decayed (D), missing (M), and filled (F) teeth and DMFT index, Löe Silness plaque index (PI), and sugar intake (SI).
Results: Deficient CaI was observed in 59% of women; 71% had 25OHD <30 ng/mL and 72% consumed soft drinks daily. M/T score was 3%, D/T score was 28.4%, and F/T score was 0%. Thirty-nine percent of women were missing at least one tooth. PI and SI were 2.0 ± 0.1 and 5.2 ± 0, respectively, and DMFT score was 6.6 ± 0.4. CaI adjusted by other risk factors was associated with higher percentage of caries (p < 0.0001), DMFT (p < 0.001), and PI (p < 0.007). One hundred percent of women presented gingivitis. When considering the one third of the studied group with the highest caries scores, DMFT reached 10.6 ± 0.5. This group had significantly lower CaI and 25OHD levels (p < 0.05) and significantly higher protein intake, daily consumption of soft drinks, and PI and SI values compared to the rest of the women (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The results of this cross-sectional report evidenced an association between high cariogenic risk and great severity of oral disease in the studied group of young women and low CaI.
Clinical relevance: Although caries progression is a complex process involving multiple factors, an adequate nutritional status of Ca and vitamin D could be an additional factor that may help preserve a good oral health.