The report was gone through page by page and the group added some comments.
Some of the comments were related to non-diet issues. It was agreed to limit the report strictly to diet factors and only include matters specifically relating to diet composition.
The group accepted the background paper as an overview of the current status of science for nutrition and oral health.
Scope and Questions
1. WHAT IS THE RATIONAL AND PRIORITY FOR INCLUDING NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS/DIETARY COUNSELING IN THE HYGIENIST CURRICULUM?
The report compiled relevant scientific data on the importance of nutritional factors for oral health and diseases. The associations between nutritional factors and, for instance, dental caries, erosion and severe oral infections (noma) are established beyond doubt. Therefore dietary modification is an intrinsic part of comprehensive patient care. On the basis of the current information the group concluded that:
• a member of any health team should have a broad understanding of the influence of diet and nutrition on general health. The main classes of nutrients, their sources, functions and the effects of deficiencies and excesses should be known
• a holistic approach to learning should be adopted in dental hygiene curricula
• an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the effects of nutritional factors on oral health and diseases is essential
• it is important for the dental hygienist and other health professionals to understand the impact of oral diseases on the nutritional status.