Obesity: A Predictor of Periodontal Disease?

Dentistry Today


It appears that people with a higher body mass index may produce cytokines, which can lead to systemic inflammation and insulin resistance. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology indicated that regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, or smoking, those who are obese are at an increased risk for periodontal infection. In fact, increased attachment loss corresponded directly to a greater insulin resistance and directly to an increase in tooth loss. The editor of the study at the University of Buffalo has suggested that it is the chronic stimulation and secretion of the cytokines that contributes to insulin resistance leading to diabetes mellitus. In addition, there is increased evidence that diabetics with periodontal disease may be at greater risk of mortality through cardiovascular disease than those patients having no periodontal disease. Kenneth Krebs, DMD, president of the American Academy of Periodontology, has indicated that “the presence of periodontal infection combined with obesity may contribute to type 2 diabetes and complications such as coronary heart disease.”

(Source: American Academy of Periodontology, perio.org/consumer/obesity06.htm, accessed June 26, 2006)