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A road map for exploring the crossroads of nutrition and oral health

An apple a day keeps the doctor away – providing we can eat it.

Oral health predicts whole body health, and is one of the 12 leading indicators for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2020 initiative. Former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher’s landmark 2000 Oral Health In America referenced the associations between periodontal (gum) disease and systemic diseases and conditions. Research aimed at gaining a fuller understanding of the relationships between oral and systemic diseases and conditions continues.

The World Health Organization emphasizes the role diet and nutrition play in oral health, including its influence on craniofacial development, risk of oral infections, cancer and dental and periodontal disease.

Dietician and writer Melinda Hemmelgarn offers some things that journalists should know to raise awareness of risk, lead consumers to care and promote the critical role of diet and nutrition in protecting oral health.

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