Obesity and Your Oral Health

Obesity, defined as an excess proportion of body fat, has reached epidemic levels in the United States. This condition presents health risks to many areas of your body, and takes a toll on just about every aspect of your life. What does obesity have to do with oral health? Recent studies have linked the development of obesity with oral bacteria.

By testing the saliva of overweight people compared to individuals within a healthy weight range, researchers have discovered an oral bacteria present in 98 percent of the obese subjects. Experts believe this bacteria is an indicator of developing an overweight condition. Also, they suspect that the bacteria may participate in the body functions that lead to obesity.

Preventing and controlling obesity usually begins with analyzing and changing your diet. A high glycemic diet, which generally means a diet high in sugars, contributes to weight gain. It is also connected with your dental health, because sugars in your mouth are converted into plaque. If plaque accumulates on your teeth and gums, the risk increases for tooth decay and gum disease.

While it will likely benefit your waistline to reduce the amount of sugar consumed, doing so will reduce your risks for oral disease. Likewise, regular dental checkups, proper oral hygiene including brushing and flossing twice daily, and smart diet modifications will also lower your oral health risks. As experts continue to investigate the connection between your mouth and your overall health, following recommendations for caring for your mouth will likely decrease oral bacteria and possibly limit your risks of other health concerns such as obesity.

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