Obesity and periodontitis are mutually beneficial

Obesity and periodontitis are mutually beneficial

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Link between periodontitis and obesity discovered

A current research project reveals a connection between being overweight and chronic gum infections (periodontitis). Apparently, the two diseases are linked and seem to benefit each other.

Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine recently showed in a study that obesity is related to periodontitis. The team suspects that both diseases will improve if one of the two diseases is successfully treated. The results were published in the "British Dental Journal".

Chronic inflammation

Inflammation of the gums and obesity: At first glance, these two diseases seem to have nothing to do with each other. But the researchers showed that behind the scenes, both diseases have a common origin: inflammatory processes.

Obesity: a risk factor for periodontitis?

The team analyzed a variety of existing studies that looked at increased body mass index, waist size, and percentage of body fat. The researchers found that there was an increased number of chronic gum infections (periodontitis) among overweight people.

So far unknown connection

The researchers conclude that changes in body chemistry affect metabolism. This in turn favors the development of inflammation, which, according to the study, can drive both obesity and periodontitis.

Does obesity begin in the mouth or periodontitis in the stomach?

"Chronic gum inflammation occurs in patients who are more prone to inflammation," explains Andres Pinto, professor of oral, maxillofacial and facial medicine and diagnostic sciences. The same people are also more susceptible to being overweight. According to Pinto, this information can provide information about how professionals plan treatments for patients suffering from obesity and / or gum disease.

"Dental professionals need to be aware of the complexity of obesity in order to better advise their patients about the importance of proper body weight and maintaining good oral hygiene," emphasizes Pinto.

Further research needed

Professor Pinto points out that more research is needed on the relationship between gum disease and obesity. So far, the evidence has been limited. "From a clinical perspective, there is a thought that if one of the problems is treated, it can influence the other," reports the dental expert. For example, if you successfully treat obesity, this could also have a positive effect on periodontitis. So far, however, there has been no clinical study that proves this connection. (vb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine: New study explores the link between obesity and gum disease (retrieved: 03.12.2019),
  • Silie Arboleda, Miguel Vargas, Andres Pinto, et al .: Review of obesity and periodontitis: an epidemiological view, British Dental Journal, 2019,

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