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Oral health, nutrition, and health

Published: November 02, 2018

Your teeth are important tools for good nutrition
Your teeth are important tools for good nutrition

Your teeth are of significant importance to your health. Damage to these necessary tools for chewing food and initiating digestion of nutrients can negatively affect your health.

Good oral hygiene, regular dental check-ups are a must. Good nutrition is also essential for the development and maintenance of oral and dental health.
Tooth development
Teeth are composed of 4 parts:

  • Dentin: calcified tissue consisting of hydroxylaptite, a mineral, organic material, and water. Its yellow hue influences the colour of your teeth, is sensitive, and forms throughout life.
  • Pulp: is composed of connective tissues and odontoblasts (cells), and is also referred to as endodentium
  • Cementum: calcified tissue which forms part of the periodontum and covers the tooth root
  • Enamel: is composed of minerals, water, and organic material, is the hardest tissue in your body, and covers the crown of a tooth over dentin

Central to tooth formation is a mineralized protein (collagen) matrix dentin which surrounds the pulp. Cementum and enamel form the outer covering of the crown and root of the tooth.

Tooth development begins between the 2nd and 3rd month of fetal development with mineralization beginning at about 4 months of age and continues throughout life for enamel development and tooth strength.
Good nutrition with adequate vitamins and minerals is necessary for optimal development of teeth and maintenance.
For instance, the protein collagen requires vitamin C for synthesis, and vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus work together to deposit hydroxylapatite crystals on the protein matrix. 
Fluoride confers resistance to caries during pre and post natal development. However, poor nutrition may contribute to dental and oral disorders such as:

  • Dental caries...click here to learn more about dental health

References

1.
Whitney, E. & Rady Rolfes, S. (2005). Understanding Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth
2.
Thrahms, C, Nutrition during infancy Nutrition in childhood. In Mann. K. & Escott-Stump, S. (Eds.)(2004). Krause's Food, Nutrition & Diet Therapy. (11th Ed.) Elsevier
3.
Lucas, BL, Touger-Decker, R. Nutrition for oral and dental health. In Mann. K. & Escott-Stump, S. (Eds.)(2004). Krause's Food, Nutrition & Diet Therapy. (11th Ed.) Elsevier