The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) has studied the relation between three parameters viz periodontal disease, obesity and insulin resistance
The study carried out at the University at Buffalo has given findings that point in the direction that obesity is a significant predictor for periodontal disease. This relation is not affected by age, gender, race, ethnicity, and smoking.
The study finds pride of a place in a supplement to the Journal of Periodontology (JOP).
In addition to this relation the researchers stress that insulin resistance mediates the relationship between obesity and periodontal disease.
The study was conducted on a total of 12,367 non-diabetic individuals 20 to 90 years old. Of these 53 percent were men and 47 percent were women and 43 percent of all the individuals were overweight.
The relation is that as severity of periodontal attachment loss increased there was a proportional increase in insulin resistance. In addition, the number of teeth lost increased significantly with increasing levels of insulin resistance. Individuals in the highest insulin resistance category lost 1.1 more teeth compared to individuals in the lowest category.
Robert J. Genco, vice provost at the University at Buffalo and editor of the JOP said, "People who have a higher body mass index produce cytokines (hormone-like proteins), that lead to systemic inflammation and insulin resistance. We propose that chronic stimulation and secretion of proinflammatory cytokines associated with periodontal infection also occurs, contributing to insulin resistance, which may further predispose to diabetes mellitus."
According to Kenneth A. Krebs, DMD and AAP president said, "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."