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Guidelines on Teaching Patients How Diet Affects Oral Health (preview)

Course Overview
Epidemiological and scientific data point to lifelong synergism between nutrition and oral health. Therefore a collaborative effort between dietetics and dental professionals is important in the promotion of oral health, disease prevention and intervention. Practitioners from both disciplines should develop skills of screening and basic education, and make referrals to each other as part of comprehensive patient care. The association between oral health and nutrition is bidirectional. Nutritional status and dietary intake are impacted by the functional ability to eat. Acute, chronic and terminal systemic diseases with oral manifestations, as well as oral infectious disease can have negative consequences on the adequacy and quality of nutrient intake of individuals. Additionally, poor nutritional intake affects the development and integrity of the oral cavity and progression of oral diseases. This lecture will discuss the role of diet and nutrition in the prevention and treatment of oral diseases, and how oral diseases influence nutrient needs. Topics include the role of nutrition and foods in the progression of caries, periodontal disease, medically compromising conditions and high risk groups throughout the lifespan. Some practical tips will be provided for the dental professional to incorporate nutritional screening and education into practice within time and resource constraints.

Objectives (Topics to be discussed):

  • Define the role of diet in the progression of caries.
  • Describe known associations between common chronic health condition and oral health status.
  • Outline general dietary principles for prevention and management of systemic disease with oral manifestations.


LORI GRANT, M.Ed., R.D., L.D., was awarded her Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from Texas Tech University in 1986 and a Master’s of Education degree in Nutrition Education from The University of Cincinnati in 1990. She completed her dietetic internship at the Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio in 1992. She is currently a clinical instructor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics and has taught nutrition courses in the UTHSCSA Dental School and served as a preceptor to Dietetic Interns. Over her career she has worked in a variety of clinical settings and in the community with adult and pediatric patients; and has been an invited speaker at state, national and international conferences.

Last reviewed on: 09/01/2014 | Expire date: 08/31/2019