The issue of obesity is a hot topic in the minds of many today and the issue promises to only get hotter. It also has an unexpected role of periodontal disease in dental health. The unexpected role isn’t new to doctors, but to those in the public.
A variety of health concerns arise if someone is obese to morbidly obese. In addition to diabetes and cardiac issues, those who are obese are shown in studies to have more oral health problems including aggressive decay and gum disease, according to research studies examined by the Obesity Action Coalition.
The reasoning behind these findings can be as obvious as an obese person consumes more sugar in their diet to the less obvious that a regimen of prescription drugs can cause the condition of “dry mouth”, which can lead to a variety of periodontal diseases. Further, studies show that those who are obese visit a dentist less frequently than a person who is not obese and that some only seek dental care once a problem has progressed far beyond a stage when the problem is easily treated.
A study by two universities (click here for their report) focused on children living below the poverty line and showed that as a child’s weight increased, so did the likelihood for cavities. In a 2013 report, the Academy of General Dentistry reported that obesity could be a direct risk factor for gum disease.
Other studies about the obesity-dental health link continue today across the globe. One from Sweden released in 2010 said researchers were confident of a link between obesity and tooth loss in their study of teenagers. The study reported periodontitis leading to tooth loss was directly related to a teenager’s obesity.
So, in addition to a number of health benefits, don’t forget that long-term dental health can be an outgrowth of a person addressing the issue of his or her obesity