Obesity and Gum Disease

There is a connection between obesity and gum disease, says a study conducted at the Case Western University School of Dental Medicine and published in the British Dental Journal recently.

This study showed that increased body mass, waist circumference and percentage body fat may be associated with increased risk to gum disease. However, there is, yet, not enough concrete evidence to establish a cause and effect connection.

Nevertheless, this study showed that changes caused by obesity or gum disease create changes in body chemistry which leads to inflammation. The more the inflammatory burden in the body, the more likelihood for diseases of an inflammatory nature, such as diabetes, heart disease and pulmonary disorders to develop.

On the other hand, the more we can reduce inflammation in the body, the healthier we are, the longer and healthier our lives. This column has previously discussed the statistical connection between gum disease (periodontitis) and variety of systemic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disorders, pancreatic cancer, ulcers and pulmonary diseases, all of which involved abnormality in the level of chronic inflammation. Therefore, resolving gum disease just may reduce the risk of developing the above conditions. And perhaps keeping the gum healthy will also lessen the risk of obesity.

The new “thought” of the researchers is that perhaps effectively treating obesity may also reduce the risk of periodontal disease as well as other inflammatory disease of the body.

It is entirely possible that eliminating obesity may also make the treatment of periodontal disease more effective and long lasting.

See your dentist regularly. Keep your teeth and your health all the same time!