Scientists in Britain have found a link between the type of obesity and the type of bacteria present in the mouth, according to studies in the Journal of Dental Research.
In studies of over 500 women, 60 percent of whom were clinically obese, researchers found that one species of bacteria - selenomonas noxia - was present at significantly higher levels in 98 percent of the overweight group. Selenomonas noxia has been linked with the development of gum disease and poor dental health in the past.
"It is uncertain whether people may become obese due to changes in the bacteria in their mouths or whether these changes occur as a result of obesity," said Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation. "What impact changing the bacterial make up may have on helping to reduce obesity is certainly worth additional research."
Dentists have become increasingly aware of the link between poor dental health and poor overall health. Gum disease has been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.
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