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 Lilly Family Dentistry, 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. Dr. Kevin Lilly points out that 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.
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 Dr. Jane or Kevin Lilly today if any of these symptoms apply to you! Untreated gum disease can 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![youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odRiSgDSOs0&fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0]
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 to control plaque buildup and to avoid bigger problems. 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.
We care about you, our valued patients. That isn’t just lip service. Our entire team wants to make sure you have best possible care available! Thanks for the trust you place in us.