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How Fat Cells and Gum Disease are Related

How Fat Cells and Gum Disease are RelatedTooth loss and obesity have been discussed in the same conversations in the past, but a recent study by Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has linked the two. The study included more than thirty people who suffered from both periodontal disease and obesity. Half of the study participants had an average BMI of 39 and underwent gastric bypass surgery. The other half had an average BMI of 35 and did not have gastric bypass surgery. All of the participants had a scaling and root planing, a special cleaning procedure that is recommended as a primary gum disease treatment. They also received counseling for at-home care for their periodontal disease.

Participants in both groups had improved gum health at the conclusion of the study. However, those who had the gastric bypass procedure had significantly improved outcomes, including greater periodontal attachment, with less bleeding in the gum tissue and less plaque buildup. Researchers had two theories for the difference in outcomes. First, fat cells have higher levels of cytokines, which cause insulin resistance. Weight loss can result in fewer fat cells and less insulin resistance, which can improve gum health. The second theory was that bariatric surgery reduced leptin production, which helped balance the metabolism. This also helped reduced cytokines and, therefore, inflammation.

If you are overweight or obese and have gum disease, losing weight might help improve not just your overall health, but your oral health, too. Talking to your doctor can provide you with the necessary support you need to become healthier in areas. Call us today to learn more or to schedule your appointment with our team.

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