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How Obesity Affects Dental Health: 1800Dentist.com

Americans are some of the largest people in the world and data collected from Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development have shown that our nation has the highest obesity rate of developed nations worldwide. Aside from being an issue of vanity, being overweight can cause a slew of medical conditions including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and can negatively impact dental health too.

For more than two decades "America's Health Rankings" (http://www.americashealthrankings.org/) has collected data in regards to behaviors such as smoking, drinking, eating and average weight; their research shows that Americans have gotten larger. Compared to their ancestors, the average American male is 17.1 pounds heavier and the average female is 15.4 pounds larger than previous generations. The group estimates that if the pattern continues 43 percent (or 103 million American adults) will be clinically obese by 2018 and will suffer the dental problems associated with the condition.

Tooth Decay and Obesity

The Center for Disease Control and prevention has called tooth decay an "epidemic" affecting the nation's children. Along with lack of oral hygiene and regular dental checkups, obesity is cited as one cause for the condition.

According to a study published by the Endocrine Society, 28 percent of children with tooth decay also were tipping the scales with an excess of body weight. The research gauged the association between unhealthy body weight and dental health in a group of 65 children ranging in age from two to five. The kids carrying the excess weight had a higher rate of tooth decay and dental issues than those who had healthy body mass index (BMI) measurements.

Gum Disease and Obesity

Estimates suggest that nearly 80 percent of the American population is suffering from some type of gum disease and are oblivious to the situation. The infection may or may not cause physical discomfort in a patient, however if left untreated it can contribute to an assortment of health issues including tissue damage and tooth loss. Individuals who pack on the pounds are at greater risk for developing periodontal disease then their healthy weighing and exercising counterparts.

Research out of the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine have shown that individuals who have a healthy BMI, eat a nutritious diet and exercise regularly are at a lower risk for developing gum disease than their stout and inactive counterparts. While the science regarding the connection is unclear, the relationship is thought to be twofold as eating the right types of foods (fruits and vegetables) will naturally lower dental plaque build up and being overweight can cause gum inflammation (1-800-DENTIST).

Is Oral Bacteria Making You Fat

Weight gain is typically associated with two common behaviors, overeating and lack of movement. British researchers have found that there is also a connection between extra weight and oral bacteria. The British Dental Health Foundation analyzed saliva samples from 500 women and 60 percent of them were classified as clinically obese. The saliva samples were compared to those of healthy women, and 98 percent of the overweight women had significantly higher levels of elenomonas noxia, a particular strain oral bacteria. That strain has been linked to gum disease and poor dental health and the scientific suggestion is the presence of the bacteria may be an indicator for future weight gain.

Individuals concerned that their weight is negatively impacting their oral health can seek out the advice of a professional dentist in order to clarify the situation. Our operators are available 24/7 to help you find a great dentist able to help maintain your dental and overall health.

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