Obesity and Periodontal Disease: Are They Related?


The word itself has a negative effect on our minds. We know it’s there. We know what it does. And we most certainly know how stubborn it can be. Fat is mostly used in a negative sense, but little do people know that, actually there are different kinds of fats of which some are useful, while others are not.

Anyway, there are other words that immediately sound a big horn in your heads, like obesity, adipose, eating disorder, abnormal, excessive weight, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, blood pressure, etc. We are aware that all these words are related and have a cause-effect relationship with one another. But what do you do when you hear periodontal disease associated with obesity? Let’s see.


Obesity has been established as a chronic disease. ‘Excessive deposition of fat in adipose tissue’ is how the intellectuals define it. It has been proven, with research as well as actual targeted group studies and observations that obesity is just the start in a long line of subsequent diseases. In fact, it is responsible for a systematic breakdown of your body’s system which is why it is so important to stay fit.

If you think that you are obese – with a BMI of over 30, then it is always a good idea to measure your BMI or body mass index regularly. Consult a doctor at the earliest, for being obese puts you at high risk of acquiring diabetes, and also makes you vulnerable to cardiovascular diseases and varied health conditions.

The causes of obesity are also well-documented; calorific imbalance and improper eating habits ranking the highest among them. No wonder then, that eating disorders and obesity are inter-related.

Periodontitis or periodontal disease:

This is a condition which involves an inflammation at its root level. It happens when proper care of the mouth, teeth and gums is avoided for an extended period. When it happens on a regular basis, you know you have to look somewhere else for the cause.

What has it got to do with obesity?

Its connection with obesity is mainly reinforced by the release of certain chemicals by your adipose tissue. Specifically, cytokines such as TNF-α (along with IL-1 and IL-6). If the geek in you needs a deeper explanation, you can always find relevant articles on ScienceDirect or NCBI.

But for those of us who are not concerned with big words, these cytokines are, in fact, one of the inflammation inducing factors. And certain research has shown that the trigger mechanism is none other than the periodontal disease-causing bacteria! Now wonder your gums feel swollen most of the times when you are carrying all that adipose tissue around.


It just means that some researchers have concluded in favor of the fact, that obese people are more prone to periodontitis. You can find exceptions to this or you can argue with their findings. But this does sound like one more reason to get rid of that fat and shed your weight. All you have to do is follow a controlled diet and exercise regularly. If you consider the alternative and its consequences, then this seems like a better option right? Reduce your consumption of junk foods that are not only filled with fat, but also harmful for your dental health.

What are you waiting for?

Bello Dental

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