Obesity Raises Gum Disease Risk
A recent study in Thailand suggests people with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or greater are at increased risk for severe gum disease--periodontitis. According to researchers, severe gum disease risk is more than four times higher in people who are obese and three times higher in those who are overweight and may be related to inflammation in the body.
This study, which involved 160 adult participants—75 classified as obese, 38 classified as overweight, and 47 normal weight individuals for comparison, confirmed earlier research linking excess weight and oral disease. For the study, participants’ oral health—dental and periodontal—was evaluated by a specialist and digital panoramic x-rays were taken. Blood tests for various health markers were also performed.
After adjusting for other factors—smoking, physical activity levels, alcohol consumption, blood glucose, etc.—researchers found an increased risk for oral inflammation and severe periodontitis in people who were overweight or obese. It may be that excess weight increases the inflammatory response to bacterial plaque, resulting in periodontal disease.
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