Gum Disease Linked to Obesity

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Gum disease has recently been linked to many serious health conditions including diabetes, strokes and heart attacks and dentists and doctors alike are encouraging their patients to maintain a good levels of oral hygiene. However, a recent study has found that weight loss can also help in the fight against gum disease.

Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine found that the body’s ability to fight gum disease increased when the level of fat cells decreased.

These findings came from an initial study, featuring 31 participants classed as obese who also had gum disease. Half the study group underwent gastric bypass surgery, which removed a large portion of fat cells from the abdomen and the other group did not receive any weight loss procedure. Both groups were given treatment for gum disease and it was found that those who had received the weight loss surgery fared better than those who hadn’t.

The researcher were especially interested in the drop in glucose levels those who had gastric bypass surgery experienced, as high glucose levels are often a precursor to diabetes, which has now been linked with gum disease. The removal of the fat cells was also thought to halt inflammation, which if left untreated can cause a whole range of problems, from gum disease to tooth loss. This inflammation also damages the gums, allowing harmful plaque bacteria to enter into the blood stream, which can then damage the rest of the body.

A combination of good oral hygiene and health eating is the best way to stop the damage gum disease can cause.


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