Malnutrition and Oral Health in Children
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The purpose of this paper is to review the effects of malnutrition on children’s oral health.
Malnutrition negatively affects the development of craniofacial structures and teeth. Nutrient deficiencies during amelogenesis and dentinogenesis lead to defective tooth structures, which tend to harbor cariogenic bacteria. The role of vitamin D in prevention of dental caries is inconclusive. Some researchers believe dental caries is not multifactorial nor transmissible because caries cannot develop without sugars. There is conflicting information in relation to the effects of malnutrition in tooth eruption and exfoliation, but its deleterious influence is clear in the integrity of the oral mucosa and salivary function.
An improper nutrition deprives the child from important nutrients for growth and development, including that of oral structures. More research is needed to elucidate the role of malnutrition in tooth development, exfoliation, and eruption.
KeywordsMalnutrition Child Dental caries Pediatric dentistry Oral health
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The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.
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