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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 16  |  Page : 32-35

Nutritional Status and Dental Caries - A Future Reflecting the Past

1 Department of Community Dentistry, Yenepoya Dental College, Yenepoya University, Deralakatte, Mangalore - 575 018, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Oral Medicine & Radiology, Yenepoya Dental College, Yenepoya University, Deralakatte, Mangalore - 575 018, Karnataka, India

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Optimal nutrition is an essential component in the complex process of maintaining optimal health throughout life. A nutritionally balanced diet with a sufficiency of mineral elements during tooth formation is important for a well-formed caries-resistant tooth. Dental caries occurs only when the right combination of disease determinants coincides with host susceptibility in the right environment. The high prevalence of chronic diseases including dental caries in developing countries has stimulated research efforts to understand the role of nutrition in reduction of risk for these diseases. India is home to millions of underfed children despite its flourishing economy. If the underlying malnutrition is not rectified, it may be difficult to prevent dental caries in spite of the employment of caries preventive measures. Therefore, this paper focuses on the influence of nutritional status on dental caries. It also gives a brief over-view of the dental applications of the food habits of pre- and elementary school children and teenagers I adolescents. The authors conclude that a nutritionally balanced diet, in concert with other oral disease preventive procedures, may provide a sound and acceptable approach in the control of dental caries.

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