chapter  18
14 Pages

Oral Health

Oral health is inextricably and positively linked with nutritional status. Maintaining oral health throughout the life cycle is critical to ensure that a maximum number of functional teeth are maintained into old age. Of all the conditions affecting oral health, periodontal disease is amajor reasonwhy an individual’s oral health, and thus nutritional status is compromised. Both men and women develop periodontal disease. There are limited data comparing the prevalence of periodontitis in males and females and one study has shown that, in general, the prevalence is lower among women compared with men. However, since the development of periodontal disease often corresponds to stages of the life cycle in which fluctuations in hormones occur, women experience an elevated risk of developing periodontal disease at specific life stages, such as pregnancy or postmenopause. As well, periodontal health can vary depending on the stage of themenstrual cycle. There are a significant number of studies suggesting that, in

addition to compromising oral health and causing tooth loss, periodontal disease may have systemic manifestations or be influenced by other disease states such as type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease.