Obesity is more than just a weight concern. It impacts the entire body – even teeth and mouth. Nearly one-third of the adult U.S. population is classified as either overweight or obese. It IS an epidemic – yet so many aspects of the condition are commonly overlooked or ignored. One of those aspects is its potential effects on oral health.
Here are some ways obesity can impact oral health:
- Oral Bacteria– The composition of a person’s saliva could be linked to obesity. Studies have suggested that the make-up of the oral bacteria in someone’s mouth may, in fact, be a biological indicator of weight issues (present or future).
- Diet– Studies suggest that there could be a connection between the development of gum disease and a high glycemic diet. Fermentable carbohydrates, which are those found in processed and refined foods, such as potatoes, rice, flour, and pasta products, convert into simple sugars when ingested as well as broken down in the mouth. Since the digestion of carbohydrates begins within the mouth, some experts contend that eating a diet rich in these foods will likely contribute to weight gain.
- Formation of Plaque–If an individual consumes a high glycemic diet, those simple sugars that are produced as a result of digestion are subsequently converted into plaque. As plaque begins to form and accumulate on the teeth and gums, the risk for developing bad breath, gum disease, as well as tooth loss. In fact, studies conducted among overweight Americans (aged 18–34) have shown gum disease was 76% more likely than for normal weight individuals in the same age range.
THE SCIENCE OF SMILES CAN HELP!
If you are overweight or considered obese, it’s imperative that you receive routine dental care. All of us here at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES can help you make positive choice that can keep your smile healthy. By getting your regular cleaning and checkup, your dentist can thoroughly examine your smile and make sure your teeth are in perfect shape.