Rapid Weight Gain and Risk of Gum Disease

Rapid Weight Gain and Risk of Gum Disease

The past twenty years have seen significant increase in weight issues in America. According to the Center for Disease Control, sixty percent of American adults are either overweight or obese, and cases of childhood obesity have tripled since 1980.

Obesity has been linked to many overall health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, infertility, sleep apnea, hypertension, and more. Recent studies have shown that obesity and rapid weight gain can increase the risk of gum disease, as well.

Gum disease has two stages, mild and severe, also referred to as gingivitis and periodontitis. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, and tender gums that may bleed when brushed. These symptoms can worsen as they develop into periodontitis, and result in loose teeth or tooth loss. Gum disease occurs when plaque is left untreated and accumulates on the teeth and gums, where it hardens into tartar. The bacteria in these harmful substances irritate the gum tissue can causes inflammation. The plaque and tartar can also build up on the tooth roots, causing periodontal pockets.

Obesity is known to cause chronic inflammatory issues, such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and diabetes. However, obesity has been proven to be a cause in itself, though experts are unsure of the exact reason. One leading theory involves the internal changes caused by weight gain. It is now known that fat cells produce many hormones and chemical signals, which may increase overall inflammation in the body.

If you require more information about the effects of weight gain and obesity in gum health, schedule an appointment with our dentist today.