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You Are What You Eat: Nutrition and Periodontal Health

Course Number: 664

Nutritional Components and their Relation to Periodontal Health and Disease

It is well-established that carbohydrate substrate and cariogenic bacteria are the causative agents for dental caries. The role of diet and nutritional consumption on periodontal health are less well-defined. Nutrients are generally classified as macronutrients or micronutrients and delineated by the amount consumed in a typical diet.31,32 Macronutrients are consumed in gram quantities and include protein, carbohydrates, and lipids.31,32 Conversely, micronutrients are required in the diet in milligram or even microgram quantities and include vitamins and minerals.31,32 Humans also require adequate consumption of water for health and optimal functioning.31,32 A variety of nutrients have been identified as having a major impact on periodontal health.33-36 We will discuss the impacts of macronutrients and select micronutrients on periodontal health and disease (Figure 1).

ce664 - Image 1

Figure 1. Macronutrients in common foods.