Although there are still some indigenous societies that have maintained their traditional way of life, where food consumption in terms of amount and quality is based on hunting and agriculture, most indigenous peoples have been undergoing an acculturation process secondary to the contact with urban civilizations, since they no longer have enough land to guarantee their subsistence. Thus, they become dependent on local trade and consume processed foods that may be harmful to their oral health and nutritional status. The objective of this communication is to identify the influence of the dietary transition due to contact with urban civilization on the nutritional status and oral condition of native Brazilian populations. The data included in this investigation were obtained from the SciELO and MedLine, PubMed databases using the keywords: "South American natives", "dietary behavior", "nutritional status", "oral health". Studies have revealed a prevalence of childhood malnutrition, adult overweight and obesity, high caries rates and periodontal disease in the native Brazilian communities that have been experiencing changes in their cultural habits. In conclusion, dietary transition can lead to nutritional disorders and the development of oral diseases, suggesting the need for health care and basic sanitation programs and access to land and education, in order to intervene in or monitor these occurrences.
Nutritional status; South american indians; Oral health; Nutritional transition