Dental diseases include dental caries, developmental
defects of enamel, dental erosion and periodontal disease.
The main cause of tooth loss is dental caries in which diet
plays an important role. Diet also plays a significant
aetiological role in dental erosion, the prevalence of which
seems to be increasing, and dietary components may
contribute to development of enamel defects
Diet has a local effect on oral health, primarily on the integrity of the teeth, pH, and composition of the saliva and plaque. Nutrition, however, has a systemic effect on the integrity of the oral cavity, including teeth, periodontium (supporting structure of the teeth), oral mucosa, and alveolar bone. Alterations in nutrient intake secondary to changes in diet intake, absorption, metabolism, or excretion can affect the integrity of the teeth, surrounding tissues, and bone as well as the response to wound healing.
The form of the fermentable carbohydrate directly influences the duration of exposure and retention of the food on the teeth. Prolonged oral retention of cariogenic components of food may lead to extended periods of acid production and demineralization and to shortened periods of remineralization.
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