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Researchers examine the link between tooth decay and obesity
Updated: 4/11/2012 6:59:42 PM

Researchers examine the link between tooth decay and obesity  

People who don't pay attention to their oral health may find themselves experiencing a range of health problems. For example, people who don't brush their teeth and develop cavities may experience broken teeth, chewing problems and even serious infections, according to The Mayo Clinic.

Recently, The Montreal Gazette reported on a study which found that experiencing tooth decay may increase a person's risk of becoming obese. The research, published in the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, showed that individuals with fewer than 21 teeth have an increased risk of obesity.

An adult in good dental health normally has 32 teeth, though some have less, and many individuals lose some as they age due to periodontal disease. The scientists found that when people have dentures or missing teeth, they are less likely to consume fruits, vegetables and other health foods that are high in nutrients, yet are sometimes more difficult to chew than junk foods like doughnuts.

"By alerting dentists to this link, [the researchers]  hope to encourage partnerships between dentists and dietitians, suggesting that a dentist might refer patients with repeated tooth extractions to a dietitian to develop a healthy, balanced diet they can follow, even with fewer teeth or dentures," stated the news source.

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