Current Oral Health Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 92–96 | Cite as

Malnutrition and Oral Health in Children

  • Marcio A. da FonsecaEmail author
Oral Disease and Nutrition (F Nishimura, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Oral Disease and Nutrition



The purpose of this paper is to review the effects of malnutrition on children’s oral health.

Recent Findings

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.


Malnutrition Child Dental caries Pediatric dentistry Oral health 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatric DentistryUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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