Perio-Nutrition - Clinical Nutrition for the Dental Team

Nutrition Library
The Nutrition Library is an archive of clinical articles that have been published on the website. This library will serve as a valuable, high quality clinical reference and resource of information regarding nutritional biochemistry and oral health.



A new piece of research from the UK looking at telomere length, systemic inflammation and oxidative stress in periodontal disease, has found that shorter leukocyte telomere length is associated with the diagnosis of periodontitis and their measures correlate with the severity of periodontitis, systemic inflammation and oxidative stress.

Common childhood conditions and their associated medications can present both nutrition and oral health risks. This article looks at three increasingly more common conditions that can affect both nutrition and oral health in teenagers and young children. 

Many addictions with oral health implications exist, this article focuses on the most common addictions we encounter such as alcohol and nicotine, with a brief look methamphetamines.

The aetiology of lichen planus is unknown, although many studies suggest an immunological pathogenesis. This article brings together the latest research in the field of nutrition with implications in the management of OLP.

The IADR in association with the AADR  released the results of 3 major studies regarding osteonecrosis of the jaw(ONJ).  The report published in the Journal of Dental Research contains some of the largest published studies to date involving ONJ patients, indicating that the prevalence of this disease may be much greater than previously indicated.

 The 87 General Session of the International Association for Dental Research presented a significant amount of research and discussion regarding nutritional biochemistry and periodontal health. Juliette Reeves attended the four day conference, and reports back on some of the latest research presented at this convention.

Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world, and its incidence continues to increase globally .Oral cancer has  one of the highest mortality ratios amongst all malignancies. Prevention and early detection of oral cancer remain the goals of the dental profession in our efforts to reduce the impact of this disease on the public. 

The British Dental Health Foundation  reports that  over the past four years cases of oral cancer in the UK have increased by 17%, an increase more rapid than any other cancer. The aetiology of oral cancer is multifactorial, with alcohol, tobacco products, a diet low in fruit and vegetable intake the main risk factors considered responsible for inducing this malignancy.

Probiotics have been extensively studied for their health-promoting effects. In the past decade probiotics have also been investigated in the oral health perspective. Due to  their mechanisms of bacterial adhesion, competitive colonization of bioflim, and possible effects on immunomodulation, probiotic treatment of oral diseases such as dental caries and periodontal disease is under investigation.

 This article primarily discusses  the influences of sex steroid hormones, predominantly oestrogen and progesterone, on the periodontium, with particular interest in bone remodelling, resorption, and alveolar bone loss.   The question of whether osteoporosis and alveolar bone loss have a linear relationship remains the subject of much research. Recent studies, however, indicate that low BMD and female hormone deficiency can indeed influence alveolar bone loss.

The consumption of fruit juices and smoothies is often seen as an effective way to increase fruit and vegetable intake. However, what can easily be overlooked is the sugar content and acidic nature of some fruit juices and smoothie combinations. With increasing concern over caries and enamel erosion, this article looks at the effects on the oral cavity.

There are a number of individual host factors which appear to influence the aetiology of inflammatory periodontal disease, these include the steroid hormones and the availability of secretory IgA (sIgA) . This  article will discuss the influences of  sIgA in the aetiology of the periodontal diseases. Salivary assay is also suggested as a non-invasive method of determining hormone and sIgA status.

A recent UK study has revealed that asthmatic children have significantly more plaque, gingivitis, and calculus compared with the control group. It was concluded that asthmatic children have more decay affecting their permanent teeth, poorer periodontal status, and more tooth surface loss than the healthy controls. There are a number of nutritional factors influencing asthma whch are explored in this article.

Bone modelling and skeletal consolidation result from a sequence of nutritional and hormonal interactions. Because nutrition is a modifiable pathogenic factor in osteoporosis, which also appears to have important oral health implications, it is a topic that deserves some attention. This article looks at the role of calcium and nutritional co-factors such as vitamin D, magnesium, acid base homeostasis,and the effects of caffeine, cola and alcohol on bone density.

As dental professionals we are only too aware of the effects of smoking on the periodontium and oral mucosa.  The effects of smoking on antioxidant status and activity is receiving increased attention. Free radical-induced oxidative damage is thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of diseases associated with cigarette smoking, which include the periodontal diseases.

Diabetes now affects 3% of the British population. It is estimated that between 1995 and 2025 the number of people with diabetes will increase by 42% in industrialised countries. This article presents an overview of the condition and its treatment. Oral health considerations are included with recommendations for dental management protocols. The nutritional implications are assessed and new protocols discussed.

As a profession we are in a good position to detect undiagnosed systemic disease through changes in the oral tissues. Early detection remains the best strategy in avoiding diabetic complications. As a profession we are urged to keep our knowledge of this disease up to date and embrace a team approach in the management of the diabetic patient and their oral health.

This article examines the systemic effects of nutrition in the progression of periodontal disease and alveolar bone loss. Periodontal disease is not a nutritional deficiency disease. Inadequate nutrition, however, could either predispose the host to the disease, or modify the progression of a pre-existing disease. We as healthcare professionals are in a position to dispense valuable nutritional advice.