New study links obesity with an increased risk of dental problems

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A new study suggests that being overweight can increase your risk of dental health problems.

The study, which has been published in the Oral Diseases journal, claims that people who have a BMI (body mass index) in the overweight range are more likely to suffer from periodontitis than those in the normal range. The risk was even higher in those with a BMI in the obese range (over 30). Researchers analysed data from a group of 160 participants, concluding that the risk of severe gum disease in those who were obese was 6 times higher than those in the normal weight category.

The team also discovered that people who were overweight had a higher leukocyte count and an elevated risk of other inflammatory dental conditions.

Advanced gum disease is the most common cause of adult tooth loss, yet it is preventable. Most people are aware that neglecting brushing and flossing can increase their risk of gum disease, but this study may also indicate that being overweight can also be a risk factor. Body mass index is calculated using your height and your body weight. This produces a figure, which tells you whether you’re underweight, healthy, overweight or obese.

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