• caloric restriction;
  • mimetics;
  • chronic inflammation;
  • periodontal disease;
  • aging

Oral Diseases (2011) 18, 16–31

A reduction in calorie intake [caloric restriction (CR)] appears to consistently decrease the biological rate of aging in a variety of organisms as well as protect against age-associated diseases including chronic inflammatory disorders such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Although the mechanisms behind this observation are not fully understood, identification of the main metabolic pathways affected by CR has generated interest in finding molecular targets that could be modulated by CR mimetics. This review describes the general concepts of CR and CR mimetics as well as discusses evidence related to their effects on inflammation and chronic inflammatory disorders. Additionally, emerging evidence related to the effects of CR on periodontal disease in non-human primates is presented. While the implementation of this type of dietary intervention appears to be challenging in our modern society where obesity is a major public health problem, CR mimetics could offer a promising alternative to control and perhaps prevent several chronic inflammatory disorders including periodontal disease.