Obesity Increases the Risk of Tooth Loss!
A new study shows that obesity and tooth loss may be more closely linked than previously believed. The study, conducted by a Japanese research team, evaluated 800 university graduates. They found that those who were overweight or obese were more likely to lose their teeth or suffer from gum disease than those who were underweight or of a healthy weight. The risk was highest in those who ate only less vegetables or even more fatty foods. Those who were overweight but still ate a varied diet rich in vegetables tended to have healthier gums and a lower incidence of gum disease.
Unfortunately, obesity rates are increasing rapidly nowadays. About 75 percent of men are either overweight or obese. About 36 percent of all men and women are considered obese, and one in 20 people is considered extremely obese. Obesity and weight gain are often the result of fast-paced lifestyles, overdependence on ready-made or processed foods, and inactivity every day. You may not reach a healthy weight immediately, but you can take steps to include more vegetables and healthy foods in your diet to improve your dental health and overall health.
Fortunately, a balanced diet low in starchy, sugary or processed foods can nourish your body and teeth. Sticky or starchy foods tend to feed bacteria in plaque, while fruits, vegetables and other whole foods help clean teeth. They also provide critical vitamins and other nutrients to support proper dental health.
How Does Obesity Affect Periodontal Disease?
Overweight or obese adults have long been thought to be at increased risk for many chronic inflammatory diseases and conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Likewise, obesity appears to be an independent risk factor for the development of periodontal disease, even after controlling for other risk factors such as smoking, age, and other medical problems. A recent study showed that the incidence of periodontitis doubles in overweight people and triples in people with severe obesity.
Fat cells were once thought to have limited energy storage functions. It is now known that fat cells produce many chemical signals and hormones. Many of these substances are thought to increase overall inflammation in the body. This can lead to decreased immune status, which increases susceptibility to periodontal disease. Inflammation can also reduce blood flow to the gums and cause disease progression. Chronic inflammation caused by obesity can trigger the development of cells that break down bone tissue, including the bone that holds teeth in place.
It is thought that this association may be due in part to lifestyle characteristics that make individuals more prone to both obesity and periodontal disease.
If you have already lost your teeth, you may be a candidate for dental implants that will allow you to continue to eat healthily without loss of bite or chewing power. You can contact us for more information or to schedule your appointment.