A recent study has been able to conclusively associate the severity of obesity in women with the risk of periodontitis. During this study, researchers found that obese and overweight women showed “statistically significant differences” in gums bleeding upon dental examination and frequency of periodontitis when compared to women with a normal body mass index (BMI). In addition, the association increased as the women’s obesity levels increased.
The researchers concluded that this indicates we need to push for early diagnosis awareness among dentists and patients as well as push for adding periodontal care in health care programs for overweight women. While all of this is most certainly true, another important indicator here is the additional proof that yes, your oral health affects your overall health and vice versa.
It’s no secret that obesity is the cause of or is linked to many health disorders, including heart disease and diabetes, and now we have further evidence that it is greatly associated with one of the most damaging dental diseases. This definitely puts the onus on dentists when it comes to talking with their obese patients about the risks of periodontal disease, and it also falls on the patient to be more aware of the additional dental risks that obesity brings to the table. This particular study was only performed on women, but it won’t be long before another study confirms the same findings in men.
Periodontitis has been linked to several other health disorders that are already linked to obesity, like heart disease and diabetes, so if you are obese and already have periodontal disease, your risk for these health problems exponentially increases.
Even if you are not obese, talk to your dentist about your risks for periodontal disease and what you can do to prevent it. Of course, if your doctor has already diagnosed you as overweight, make sure you are taking extra special care of your teeth while you work on taking care of your body.