Obesity could be a significant predictor for periodontal disease, according to a latest study conducted by researchers from University at Buffalo. Furthermore, this observation has been found to be independent of age, sex, race, ethnic background or smoking.
The observed link between periodontal disease and obesity could be due to the underlying insulin resistance. Infact, a direct association between insulin resistance and the severity of periodontal attachment loss have been established from the present study. With increasing levels of insulin resistance, an increase in the number of teeth lost is observed. This approximated to a 1.1 teeth loss in individuals with highest insulin resistance compared to the controls.
Individuals with high body mass index (BMI) were found to produce elevated cytokine levels, leading to inflammation and resistance to insulin. In addition, the researchers hypothesize that proinflammatory cytokine secretion could contribute to increased predisposition to diabetes. It has been established from previous studies that diabetics with periodontal disease are more likely to die due to complications of diabetes than those devoid of the same.
'The presence of periodontal infection combined with obesity may contribute to type 2 diabetes and its complications, such as coronary heart disease. Although further studies are needed, people should remember that living a healthy lifestyle along with daily brushing and flossing and visiting your oral health care provider is always in fashion', concluded Dr. Kenneth A. Krebs, one of the senior researcher.