Thursday, 7 March 2013

Is there a link between Obesity and Gum Disease?

Countries like USA and Mexico are among the highest in obesity levels in both children and adults. Experts believe that about one-third of the American population can be classified as overweight. This increased number has led to the prediction that every two out of three individuals will be obese or overweight by the year 2020- which is a big concern.

Effects of Obesity:
Obesity can negatively affect a person’s overall emotional and physical health, and is connected to a variety of serious health problems including heart disease, diabetes, and some cancer types. Interestingly, some doctors also indicate that it may play a role in the occurrence of gum diseases. In fact, studies show that obesity can increase risk for gum related disease, due to insulin resistance that the body develops. Gum disease can start with mild gingivitis, wherein gums bleed easily. However, if not treated on time, they can become Periodontitis, wherein bacteria in the plaque irritate the gums and instigate an inflammatory response. It is also believed that people with elevated body mass generate a greater level of inflammatory proteins.

A study from Harvard School of Public Health also indicated towards a prospective association between periodontal disease and obesity. The height and weight and self-reported periodontal disease data was recorded of several subjects at the beginning of the test, and questionnaires were mailed bi-annually to find out how the subjects were fairing. Measures of obesity were taken by hip and waist circumference. After evaluating thousands of subjects, the team observed drastic association between periodontal disease and obesity when accounting for smoking, age, race, physical activity, dental profession, diabetes status and fruit and vegetable intake.

Unfortunately, gum problems already affect a large percentage of people and can also have a very negative impact on mortality. The habits people develop can impact the condition of their present and future health. For that matter, it is advisable to reset and get back into shape for maintaining excellent health. Here are some oral habits that should be a part of everyone’s oral health regime:
  • Brushing with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between the projections daily.
  • Eating a well balanced diet, decreasing the intake of beverages and foods that are high in sugar.
  • Visiting a dentist regularly for proper dental treatment.
Dental professionals must be very careful about the patient’s medical history and reevaluate any medical condition that may point to cause obesity. They should then advise patients to see a physician for more evaluation. Their oral health condition should be assessed and treatment should be provided based on the physician’s finding. Emphasis must be given on reducing of the plaque and associated inflammation, both below and above the gum line. Proper home care should also be reinforced, and the patients should be motivated to floss and brush twice a day. When most people resolve to get rid of that excess fat, their main motivation is to fit into those skinny jeans or wear a bathing suit. And while looking good is important, the health benefits of losing a few pounds are enormous. Likewise, the health concerns for the heavy weight are often scary, as this epidemic is spreading across the nation, leading to several deaths. Doctors have associated numerous conditions, such as stroke, heart disease, type II diabetes, and some types of cancer. Bodies of obese individuals also relentlessly generate cytokines, proteins that have inflammatory properties. Such cytokines can directly reduce blood flow or harm the gum tissue, consequentially promoting the growth of gum disease. Perhaps it’s time to switch one’s motivation from looking great on the outside, to taking proper care of the bodies from the inside, as being obese can not only cost people their self-esteem, but also their lives.

No comments:

Post a Comment