Find the Best Plan in Your Area
Find The Right Dentist For You
A study in the journal General Dentistry has added obesity to the list of risk factors that may cause people to have gum disease,a condition that requires regular dental care to prevent it from getting to a serious stage.
"We know that being overweight can affect many aspects of a person's health," said Charlene Krejci, D.D.S., an associate clinical professor of periodontics at Case Western Reserve University, who led the study. "Obese individuals' bodies relentlessly produce cytokines, proteins with inflammatory properties. These cytokines may directly injure the gum tissues or reduce blood flow to the gum tissues, thus promoting the development of gum disease."
In addition to cytokines produced by obesity, Krejci said gum disease creates cytokines of its own and thus increases inflammation that can enter the bloodstream and affect other parts of the body.
The Academy of General Dentistry estimated that as many as half of the American population aged 30 and older - about 90 million people, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures - may be affected by gum disease, which is also known as gingivitis and periodontitus.
If people delay regular check-ups because they have no dental insurance, gum disease may get worse and hurt their overall tooth structure. Discount dental plans provide most dentistry services at reduced rates and help individuals and families maintain good oral health.
Just as certain types of food cause people to put on weight, sugary and acidic foods and beverages can do great harm to the teeth. Without regular cleaning and visits to a dentist, gum disease can also develop.
The inflammation that comes with the condition also impacts the support structure that connects the teeth to the bone. When left untreated, gum disease can lead to permanent tooth loss, because the gums are no longer able to hold the teeth in place.
Gingivitis accounts for about 70 percent of gum disease and usually shows itself by bleeding when teeth are brushed and flossed or by the presence of continuous bad breath. It starts with bacteria lodged at the gum line when teeth aren't properly cleaned and can lead to inflammation.
Left untreated, gingivitis may evolve into periodontitis, a more serious form of the disease that occurs in about 30 percent of cases. Among the symptoms that indicate inflammation is present are receding gums, pain at the gum line, sensitivity to hot and cold or red and puffy gums.
© 2013 Brafton Inc.
The materials and articles published on DentalPlans.com are for informational purposes only. Although DentalPlans.com strives to be accurate and complete, the information is provided without liability for errors. DentalPlans.com does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information, text graphics, links, or other items contained on DentalPlans.com.
DentalPlans.com expressly disclaims liability for errors or omissions in these materials and DentalPlans.com makes no commitment to update the information on DentalPlans.com.
DentalPlans.com expressly disclaims all liability for the use or interpretation by others of information on DentalPlans.com. Decisions based on information contained on DentalPlans.com are the sole responsibility of the visitors, and visitors agree to hold DentalPlans.com and its Affiliates harmless against any claims for damages arising from decisions visitors make on such information.
Nothing on DentalPlans.com constitutes medical advice or other forms of advice. DentalPlans.com assumes no responsibility for material created or published by third parties linked to DentalPlans.com with or without DentalPlans.com’s knowledge.