How is nutrition related to oral health?

Dr. Nancy Munoz
Nutrition & Dietetics

There is a synergy between oral health and nutrition. Reduced chewing function and oral conditions, such as painful mucosal disorders, xerostomia and the pain and discomfort associated with periodontal disease, can lead to poor food selection, an unbalanced diet, and poor meal consumption. Oral- health conditions associated with weight loss include oral problems, such as the number of remaining healthy teeth, and being completely edentulous. 

The foods you choose as fuel and how often you “fill up” affect your general health and that of your teeth and gums. Eating patterns and food choices play an important role in preventing (or promoting) tooth decay. A lack of certain nutrients can also make it more difficult for tissues in the mouth to resist infection.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Your mouth is a window to your overall health. Nutrition plays a critical role. If your body doesn’t get the proper nutrition, it can show up on various places in your mouth. Very often, when something flares up, loosens or simply looks different within your mouth, it’s your body’s way of asking for some type of nutrient it doesn’t have enough of. Your hygienist can help identify which vitamin deficiency you may have and offer you healthy, safe ways to incorporate them back into your system.

If you notice any sudden changes in your mouth, contact your dentist and make an appointment.

This content originally appeared on

Continue Learning about Diet & Your Teeth

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.