Dietary Counseling in the Prevention and Control Of Oral Diseases - A Review

Etisiobi Ndiokwelu, Chika Ndiokwelu
Department of Preventive Dentistry, College of Medicine
University Of Nigeria, Enugu Campus and Department of Dietetics
University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu

 SUMMARY There is a close relationship between diet, nutrition and dental health. Oral tissues like all tissues in the body are diet and nutrition-dependent. Knowledge of food sources, their properties, functions, requirements, optimal levels and consequences of deficiencies must form the basis for dietary counseling.

Enough is now known about the interdependence of nutrition, diet and dental diseases that dietary counseling has become a very important and integral part of dental care in developed countries. This is not surprising because oral tissues like all tissues in the body are diet and nutrition-dependent.

In this paper, the scientific basis for dietary counseling in oral health and the role of sucrose in the etiology of some oral and metabolic disease has been reviewed. The importance of diet counseling and the critical elements of counseling have been outlined.

It is recommended, that dietary counseling in dental diseases should be comprehensive for the whole human health and not just for any particular dental disease. Given the time consuming nature of diet counseling it is suggested, that dental practitioners make effort to regularly refer patients/clients presenting with diet-related oral diseases to nutritionist-dietitians who have been professionally trained in the science and art of diet/nutrition counseling. In the absence of such professionals, patients/clients should as a matter of routine be referred to dental nurses and dental hygienists for nutritional counseling.

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Key Words: Diet, Nutrition, Oral diseases, Counseling.

Correspondence: Dr. E. Ndiokwelu
Department of Preventive Dentistry
College of Medicine
University of Nigeria, Enugu