Oral Health and Obesity

Most people know the importance of oral health. Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body and if you don’t practice good oral hygiene habits, you could be opening yourself up to all kinds of problems including congestive heart failure, stroke, and even Alzheimer’s disease. However, most people are probably not aware that there may be a link between obesity and oral health.

Studies show that being obese affects your overall health, but can also increase your chances of chronic bad breath, gingivitis, tooth decay, periodontal disease, and even tooth loss.

The American Academy of Periodontology shows that gingivitis, and the more serious periodontal disease is about 74 percent more common among 18 to 34 year old obese adults than for people who are in the normal weight range for that age bracket.

Quite a few of the oral health issues that are caused by obesity can be related to poor food choices. Obese people consume sugary foods including sweets and sodas along with large amounts of processed foods that have added sugar. A diet high in sugar and carbohydrates can increase mouth bacteria. Bacteria will lead to inflammation, which could cause gum disease. When your teeth are exposed to high levels of acidity and sugar the enamel on your teeth will begin to erode. Enamel erosion will increase your risk of tooth decay.

Vitamin C and calcium are essential nutrients that your body needs to help fight off infection and repair teeth. Obesity can lead to other health conditions that are also linked to oral health including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Diabetes

Diabetes increases your risk of gum disease. In fact, patients who have gum disease also have a hard time keeping their blood sugar levels in check.

To date, diabetes has the strongest link when it comes to the mouth and body connection with nearly 90 percent of diabetics being overweight. Type 2 diabetes is preventable if you watch your weight and increase your exercise, as it will affect blood glucose levels positively while helping control the obesity related condition.

High Blood Pressure

The medications that are prescribed for high blood pressure can increase your risk of dry mouth. Dry mouth can cause gingivitis, dental caries, and plaque buildup.

Heart Disease

New studies indicate that as many as 91 percent of patients who have heart disease, also suffer from gum disease.

Watching your weight and following good oral hygiene habits, including brushing twice, flossing once each day and regular checkups with your dentist can help you look and feel better.

Keep your oral health in check and schedule an appointment with your dentist today.