Links Between Obesity And Gum Disease

gum disease

Published by Dr. Charles Gemmi

A Board Certified Orthodontist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, Dr. Charles Gemmi has been a practicing orthodontist with Orthodontics Limited since 2000 and is a member of the teaching staff at Einstein Medical Center. Orthodontics Limited is a Diamond+ Provider of Invisalign in Philadelphia and Hatboro, PA.

Obesity-related health problems have begun reaching epidemic proportions over the last 20 years—and the trend doesn’t appear to be reversing itself. According to the Center for Disease Control, childhood obesity has more than tripled since 1980, and 67% of adults in the United States today are considered “overweight.” Here at Orthodontics Limited, we understand it’s no secret that obesity is associated with a variety of medical problems including diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis—but, did you know that obesity can dramatically affect your oral health as well?

It’s true. With the increasing number of overweight adults each year, many studies are being conducted to investigate the relationships between obesity and periodontal disease. The results may surprise you. We are going to take a closer look and unpack some of the research and studies that have conducted around these areas.

As you may already know, periodontal disease is an oral, chronic bacterial infection that affects gum tissue and can eventually affect the bones that hold your teeth in place. If you are a victim of gum disease or gingivitis you may be dealing with bleeding gums, inflammation, persistent bad breath, loose teeth, and changes in your bite. Talk to our orthodontic experts today if any of these symptoms apply to you! Not only does untreated gum disease force orthodontic treatment to come to a halt, but it can also lead to much more serious issues, ranging from permanent tooth loss to heart disease.

In a recent Boston University study, results showed that overweight individuals are twice as likely to be diagnosed with gum disease, and those who are considered “obese” are three times as likely, making this a bigger problem than most people realize! It is very important to be aware of these facts and to prevent both obesity and gum disease for a variety of health reasons.

So, what’s the connection between being overweight and gum disease? Most theories suggest that fat cells produce many chemical signals and hormones that can increase inflammation in the body, decrease the effectiveness of your immune system, and increase your susceptibility to periodontal disease. Other theories point to the possible eating habits of overweight people and the connections to simple sugars that our mouths convert to plaque. As plaque accumulates on teeth and gums, gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth decay may become inevitable.

Don’t let gum disease become a problem for you. Stay healthy. Keep your weight in check. Maintain meticulous dental hygiene through flossing and brushing. Schedule regular cleanings and checkups with your general dentist to control plaque and calculus buildup and to avoid bigger problems. It is important to make sure that you are brushing your teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time. It is also important to make sure that you are flossing your teeth regularly, at least once a day. This will help you prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.

Additionally, it is incredibly crucial to prevent obesity. One of the main reasons for cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes, is sedentary lifestyles. This basically means that you spend a lot of time sitting. Many working people find themselves sitting at their desks or on their laptops for hours on end without getting up once. This can cause your blood to pool in certain areas in your body as opposed to flowing more regularly. This can certainly cause health problems for you in the future. Because of this, it is important to stand up as often as you can, for a few minutes at a time at least, to allow your blood to flow more and to help prevent cardiovascular, or heart, problems in your future. If you find yourself sitting for an hour, try to stand up for a few minutes at least and walk around the room. It truly is the little things that add up and count.

It will also be incredibly beneficial for you to exercise regularly, at least a few times a week. This looks different for different people. Some individuals enjoy going on runs through the park. Other folks, on the other hand, enjoy playing sports like tennis or soccer regularly with friends. Overall, whatever you prefer to do, as long as you are moving and you get your blood pumping and flowing, you should be good to go! Many people also enjoy just going on walks to get their exercise in. By exercising regularly, you will get your heart working and pumping more and burn fat that could have caused you more problems down the line.

Also, it is very important for you to eat healthy. Consuming less fatty and sugary foods is not only good for your teeth, but it is also good for your overall physical health. By consuming less sugar and fatty foods, you will be exposing your teeth to less sugar and carbohydrates, which could have caused tooth decay or cavities. By eating healthier, you will also be consuming less carbohydrates and sugar, which can decrease your fat intake.

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask us! What your mom told you is true… An ounce of prevention IS worth more than a pound of cure. And if periodontal treatment is needed, our team can help point you in the right direction.

We care about you, our valued patients. That isn’t just lip service. Our entire team, including our orthodontic experts, wants to make sure you have the best possible care and orthodontic services available! We understand that our orthodontic services go beyond just straightening your teeth. However we can help you, we are here for it. Thanks for the trust you place in us.

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