Obesity is a rising problem in the United States and gum disease has been an issue for American patients. Could there be a correlation? Your Belton dentist wants to explore the relationship between obesity and gum disease. This way you can improve your overall health and oral health at the same time.
Obesity and Gum Disease
Although many patients aren’t aware of this relationship, countless studies point to the link between obesity and gum disease. For example, a study from the State University of New York analyzed data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This survey collected the height, weight, and other information from people living in the United States. Ages of participants ranged from 20 to 90, and half of them were overweight. This study found that no it doesn’t matter what age, sex, race, ethnic background, or smoking background participants had. Those who were obese are much more likely to have gum disease!
Connecting the Dots with Inflammation
What causes the link between being over weight and gum disease? Current theories suggest that systemic inflammatory overload caused by obesity is the reason. Basically, people who have a higher body mass index (BMI) produce a high amount of cytokines. Cytokines are proteins with inflammatory properties. These cytokines can injure the gum tissue directly or injure them by reducing blood flow your gums, which is super important to maintaining healthy gums. This harmful relationship can cause periodontal disease (the advanced version gum disease). If you’re over weight and experience some of these symptoms, you may have already started developing gum disease:
- Red, swollen gums
- Tender gums
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Buildup of pus between gums
- Loose fitting teeth
- Receding gums
- Pockets of infection along your gum line
- Chronic bad breath
Lose Weight for Better, Healthier Lifestyle
Being overweight isn’t a permanent debilitating condition. There’s still time to improve your oral and overall health. You can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, gum disease, and premature death by losing the excess weight. The effects of obesity are certainly reversible with a diligent weight loss program that includes a healthy balanced diet and workout regimen. Drinking lots of water is also a great step to losing weight and improving your oral health. Talk to your doctor if you are ready to start losing significant weight but are unsure where to begin.
Reduce Your Risk in the Meantime
To reduce your risk of developing gum disease in the meantime, it is vital that you keep up with good oral hygiene habits. Brush your teeth gently for two minutes, twice a day or after each meal, and floss your teeth daily. Add an antimicrobial mouth rinse for additional cleaning. Avoid tobacco and reduce the amount of sugar you consume for better oral and overall health.
Request an Appointment Today!
Along with routine dental hygiene and altering your lifestyle for the better, attending regular checkups and cleanings with your dentist every six months is one of the best ways to prevent the negative effects of bad gum health. Ask yourself, when’s the last time I visited my Belton dentist? It may be time to visit ACE Dental. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.