Friday, May 25, 2018

Obesity Linked to Higher Risk for Gum Disease

obese americansGum disease has now been added to the list of potential risk factors for Americans that result from obesity. Also on this list are the development of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain forms of cancer. Although the studies are in their earliest stages, scientists are suspecting a link between gum disease and being overweight.

The bodies of obese individuals relentlessly produce what are called cytokines. Cytokines are proteins with inflammatory properties. These proteins may directly injure the gum tissues or reduce blood flow to the gum tissues, thus leading to the promotion of the development of gum disease.

To add fuel to the fire, having gum disease in and of itself produces its own set of cytokines, further increasing the level of these inflammatory proteins in the body’s bloodstream, helping to set off a chain reaction of other inflammatory diseases throughout the body. Nearly half of the US population 30 and older already shows symptoms of gum disease.

“Whether one condition is a risk factor for another or whether one disease directly causes another has yet to be discovered,” said a spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), the publisher of the article. What the AGD stressed is that it is important to visit the dentist at least twice a year so that they can evaluate your risks for gum disease or other dental issues. While at home it is important to maintain healthy plaque removing habits such as daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing.

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