The Impact of Nutrition and Diet on Oral Health

The Impact of Nutrition and Diet on Oral Health
Zohoori, F.V., Duckworth, R.M. (eds.)
Karger Medical and Scientific Publishers, 2019

Review by Dr M. Crowe
Dublin Dental University Hospital, Trinity College Dublin

The publication of this text is a valuable and timely contribution to the discipline of nutrition and oral health. The editors have compiled a wide range of relevant topics and produced an evidence-based monograph on nutrition that would be a welcome addition to the libraries of universities, dental and medical teams, and dietitians or nutritionists. It is particularly timely as there have been few recent updates to other textbooks on this subject in an era of widespread dietary misinformation.
The book is divided into four parts and the chapters are contributed by those with a particular expertise or relevant research interest.
The first part contains two background chapters that summarise general aspects of diet and nutrition in maintaining health and some specific oral conditions affected by both dietary excesses and deficiencies. Chapter 1 discusses the importance of understanding the differences between diet and nutrition, and provides a concise summary of both macro- and micronutrients. The second chapter provides a brief overview of the most prevalent oral conditions related to diet. In part 2 there are four succinct chapters, with comprehensive references, detailing the specific impact of macro- and microelements and vitamins on oral health. The role of these nutrients in the development and maintenance of oral structures, and the effects of deficiencies or excesses on the main oral disease conditions, is reviewed.
The third part of the monograph is the largest and explores how dietary consumption impacts on oral health. There are detailed chapters focusing on sugar, dairy products, probiotics, and the effects of acidic food and drink on erosive tooth wear. The latter part of this section includes a timely reminder of the potential impact of nutrigenomics and concludes with the role of diet in periodontal disease and nutrient deficiencies. The final part contains one of the most interesting chapters, which focuses on the impact of oral health status on nutrition. This includes diverse topics ranging from the role of effective masticatory function and deglutition to cephalic responses and impaired salivation or taste perception.

Concise and accessible
While no text can include all relevant areas, there are a few areas that would have been worth considering. Given the importance of preventive approaches, guidance on dietary intervention and the specific effects of food-derived constituents in modifying oral diseases would have been a useful chapter. The use of non-nutritive sweeteners and starch hydrolysates as food ingredients is still an area of clinical and applied research interest. Finally, a chapter on dietary assessment and nutritional screening would have been of practical benefit given the lack of training in this area for most dentists.
Overall, the editors have successfully maximised the relevant information in a concise, accessible format, while still providing a thorough update. This is a well-written, engaging and balanced publication that is essential reading for any student or professional interested in nutrition and oral health.