Obesity May Hamper Gum-Disease Treatment

Posted on January 14, 2015

Obesity may make gum-disease treatment less effective, a study has found.

Researchers from Sao Paulo, Brazil, did the study. It included 48 people. All of them had gum disease. Half were obese. Obesity is defined as having a body-mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. BMI measures weight in relationship to height.

Everyone in the study received scaling and root planing. This is the most common type of treatment for gum disease. It involves a deep cleaning of the teeth, above and below the gum line. Also, any rough spots on tooth roots are made smoother. This helps to keep bacteria from attaching to the roots.

Researchers examined everyone's mouths 3 months and 6 months after treatment. At each time point, gum health was better than before treatment. This was true for both obese and non-obese groups. But at 6 months, the non-obese group had healthier gums than the obese group did.

Researchers also measured the blood levels of a hormone called leptin. It plays a role in appetite and weight control. The obese group had higher levels of leptin throughout the study. Gum-disease treatment did not affect leptin levels.

Obesity and periodontal disease have been examined in other research. A 2011 study did not find that obesity affected response to gum-disease treatment. However, that study followed people for only 3 months after treatment. The Brazilian study followed people for 6 months.

The study was published in the January issue of the Journal of Periodontology.

Source: InteliHealth News Service


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