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Poor nutrition is a risk factor for dental decay in younger people. However, except for sugar it is unclear if this is true in older age groups. The aim of this study was to analyze the possible associations between overall dietary intake of nutrients and diet quality and presence of dental decay in community dwelling older men. A cross-sectional analysis of a longitudinal study with a standardized validated diet history assessment and comprehensive oral health examination in 520 community dwelling men (mean age: 84 years) participating in the Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project. Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) were used to determine if individual micronutrients and macronutrients were meeting recommendations. Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDR) were attained for fat and carbohydrate intakes and were incorporated into a dichotomous variable to determine if the participants were consuming a high fat and low carbohydrate diet. Diagnosis of coronal caries was based on visual criteria and inspection and was completed on each of the five coronal surfaces. Root surface caries was textual changes across four root surfaces. This diagnosis was used to categorize participants by presence and severity of coronal and root caries. Adjusted logistic regression showed not meeting the recommended intakes for thiamin (odds ratio (OR): 2.32 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.15 - 4.67), and zinc (OR: 3.33, 95% CI 1.71 – 6.48) were associated with presence of severe root decay. Adjusted analysis also showed that participants who were outside the recommended AMDR for fat (OR: 0.61, 95% CI 0.38 – 0.98), and those who consumed a high fat and low carbohydrate diet (OR: 0.56, 95% CI 0.35 – 0.91) were less likely to have coronal tooth decay. Our study shows associations between micronutrients and macronutrients and coronal and root surface decay. Although this study cannot prescribe causality or be generalized to all older adults, diet has a possible association with dental decay in older men.

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