Your Body Carries the Weight in Periodontal Disease
It’s pretty common knowledge that carrying excess body weight has poor implications for your health. Usually we relate this condition to other issues like heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Researchers at the International & American Associations for Dental Research recently discovered a link to periodontal disease as well.
What exactly is periodontal disease? At its simplest form, periodontal disease is just called gingivitis. It’s an inflammation that occurs in the gums as a result of an increase in harmful bacteria. The gums appear swollen and red. At a more advanced stage, periodontal disease is called periodontitis. Symptoms of advancing periodontal disease include a separation of the gums from the teeth. Teeth become exposed near the gums, causing a loss of bone and a loosening of the teeth.
Scientists still haven’t determined that being overweight causes periodontal disease. For now, it’s just a correlation until more research is done. Researchers guess that this finding has something to do primarily with the dietary habits of overweight or obese individuals. Even though a person’s weight can be influenced by genetic factors, it can also correspond to what he or she regularly eats. For example, individuals whose diets are high in sugars are at risk for both weight gain and periodontal disease. Diets low in vegetables may also contribute to obesity and the absence of vitamins and minerals important in the health of your teeth.
If you’re concerned about how your weight may impact your overall health, it’s best to make an appointment with your physician. If you’re curious about whether or not periodontal disease could have an impact on your oral health, it’s important to make an appointment with your dentist. Periodontal disease is reversible, and Dr. Carter and her team specialize in making individualized treatment plans to help their patients maintain good health. Next time you make a visit don’t forget to ask about your risk of periodontal disease!
Want to read more about this research? Check out the study here!