Being Overweight May Have Connection to Gum Disease Risk



Obesity may have some unforeseen effects.

An article that appears in the January/February issue of General Dentistry indicates that obesity may be a risk factor for gum disease.

The correlation stems from the fact that obese people produce a higher level of cytokines, which are proteins with inflammatory properties. These cytokines then injure the gum tissues or lower blood flow to the gum tissues, making way for gum disease.

Half of all Americans 30 and older are impacted by gum disease. Gum disease also produces a high level of cytokines, resulting in a larger amount of inflammatory proteins in the bloodstream. Gum disease eventually initiates other inflammatory diseases throughout the body.

Visiting the dentist a regular basis is the best way to detect gum disease or to determine whether or not a person is at a higher risk for gum disease. Removing plaque and brushing regularly will also aid in this process.

More research is necessary to fully understand the relationship between obesity and gum disease.