Weight Loss and Gums

Weight Loss and Gums

Obesity is known to affect health in virtually every system of the body, so it might be unsurprising that the condition also may increase gum disease risk. According to researchers at Case Western University School of Medicine, obese patients may be more prone to gum disease for a variety of reasons.

Study Linking Obesity and Gum Disease

Researchers looked at patients suffering from both obesity and gum disease. Half of these patients had undergone gastric bypass surgery, but the other half had not. Although patients in both groups had received gum disease treatments, such as deep cleaning, the gastric bypass recipients had fewer gum disease symptoms. Gum bleeding, pocket depth and plaque deposits were all reduced in these patients. 

How are Obesity and Gum Disease Linked?

A few theories have been discussed for why gum disease affects obese patients more. Inflammation, which is increased in obesity, may be driving the gum disease. Researchers know that higher inflammation can cause jaw bone deterioration and tooth loss. Insulin resistance, which is improved by weight loss, could also be the problem. Finally, leptin, a hormone that is reduced in obese patients, may be involved in gum health.

More research needs to be done for complete understanding of the link between obesity and gum disease, but the link is clearly there. In the meantime, patients battling obesity can visit our dentist for preventive and restorative treatments to address gum disease. Deep cleaning, gum flap surgery and other options may be recommended by Dr. Ghasri depending on gum disease severity.