The Correlation Between Obesity and Periodontal Disease

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Several studies have shown that there is a correlation between obesity and periodontitis. New research has been looking at what the two have in common – inflammation.

What is Obesity?

Obesity is often misunderstood. Obese and overweight is when the body has abnormal or excess fat accumulation that can affect one’s health. By the calculation of BMI (Body Mass Index), one can determine if they are obese or overweight. Overweight is when one has a BMI of greater than or equal to 25. One can be regarded as obese when their BMI is equal to or greater than 30. Either genetic or behavioral factors can cause obesity. Obesity can be successfully managed by dietary changes, exercise, and sometimes medicine. Counseling is also essential because it can affect one psychologically.

The Link Between Obesity and Periodontitis

Periodontitis not only causes tooth loss; it is also linked to other chronic diseases like cancer, arthritis, heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. Research has shown that people with excess weight had shown double the incidence of getting periodontitis, while those with obesity had shown triple the rate. According to a new study, obesity can affect non-surgical periodontal care. It is not a cause and effect case; instead, the research focuses on what the two diseases have in common — inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s immune system response to an irritant, for instance, toxins in the body. Studies have shown that increased body mass index, waist circumference, and percentage of body fat can be linked to an increase in the risk of developing periodontal disease.

The Significance to The Medical Field

Obesity and inflammation are caused by changes in body chemistry, which in turn affects metabolism. Patients susceptible to inflammation are likely to be susceptible to periodontal disease and obesity. This information is very crucial to dental professionals as it can help them make their patients understand that it is essential for them to maintain healthy body weight and good oral hygiene. It can also be an important point of study in the medical field to encourage further research on whether the successful treatment of obesity can affect the treatment or management of periodontitis.

Although the research has been carried out over the years, it has not been conclusive; however, the treatment of one could have an impact on the other. These studies can help dental professionals plan better for their patients’ treatment. Clinicians can advise their patients on various ways they can manage their weight and maintain good oral hygiene.


As dental professionals, we must understand a patient’s medical history so that we can identify the underlying problem of some of these dental problems. We also need to encourage our patients to keep regular dental visits to ensure that some of these problems are treated as early as possible. Periodontitis, for instance, leads to the loss of good teeth, which can be avoided if detected and treated early, and if there are other underlying health issues, it would be easier to diagnose and treat the patient as a whole.

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