Is There a Connection between Weight and Gum Disease?
May 25, 2017
There are a variety of reasons to try and stay at a healthy weight. It reduces the chance of developing heart problems and is easier on the joints, improving mobility. Plus, it can have a variety of benefits for your appearance and self-esteem. However, there may be one more reason to try and slim down – your oral health.
Study Connects Gum Disease and Body Weight
A study was recently completed at Harvard University to examine the possible connection between gum disease and excess weight. This was done by analyzing data from 37,000 men, all of whom were disease-free when the study began.
The researchers collected information regarding the men’s weight, height, gum disease diagnoses, and hip and waist measurements. Then, after 16 years, this information was collected again.
After analyzing the research, it was determined that obesity was associated with an increased gum disease risk of 29%. This was the first study to find such a significant relationship between these two issues. Researchers believe that the connection is created by adipokines, which are chemicals that are secreted by the fatty tissue. These chemicals have inflammatory properties, so it is thought that when they are produced in greater amounts, they could promote the development of gum disease.
Gum Disease Can Still Be Prevented
While weight might certainly make someone more susceptible to gum disease, this isn’t a guarantee that a person will develop the condition. There are still things that you can do to prevent the development of gum disease, such as brushing your teeth often, flossing twice a day, and adding an antimicrobial mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine.
Additionally, frequent dental cleanings and checkups are also important for the health of your gums, so if it has been a while since your last exam and you are concerned about the health of your mouth, be sure to contact our office today.