Nutrition is not often thought of as an important factor in oral health. However, both nutrition (systemic effects of food) and diet (eating habits and patterns) can play important roles in promoting or undermining oral health. Conversely, the condition of the oral cavity (teeth, jaw bone, gums, etc.) can affect the ability and desire to eat, which in turn, will affect ultimate nutritional status.

How the Oral Cavity Can Affect Diet and Nutrition

The mouth is the pathway for nourishment, so any oral impairment has the potential to undermine ultimate nutritional status. In turn, malnutrition can affect oral health by impairing oral tissue growth and development and decreasing immunity to infection. The following are the most common oral cavity conditions that can affect eating and nutrition.

Tooth Loss

The ...

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