Losing Weight May Help Fight Gum Disease

Obese people who shed pounds showed improvements in gum health

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Losing weight appears to help fight gum disease, a new study indicates.

It included 31 obese people who underwent treatment for gum disease. Half of the patients (average body-mass index, or BMI, of 39) had gastric bypass weight loss surgery and also had fat cells removed from their abdomen. The other patients (average BMI of 35) did not have gastric bypass surgery or fat removed from their abdomen.

All the participants underwent nonsurgical periodontal (gum) treatments of scaling/root planing and received instructions for oral hygiene at home.

Both groups showed overall improvement in gum health but those in the surgery group showed greater improvement on measures for periodontal attachment, bleeding, probing depths and plaque levels, Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine researchers said in a university news release.

The study was published in the Journal of Periodontology.

The improved response to periodontal treatment may be due to reductions in insulin resistance and inflammation associated with weight loss, the researchers said.

More information

The American Dental Association has more about gum disease.

Robert Preidt SOURCE: Case Western Reserve University School, news release, Nov. 10, 2011

Related Articles

Learn More About Sharp
Sharp HealthCare is San Diego's health care leader with seven hospitals, two medical groups and a health plan. Learn more about our San Diego hospitals, choose a Sharp-affiliated San Diego doctor or browse our comprehensive medical services.

Health News is provided as a service to Sharp Web site users by HealthDay. Sharp HealthCare nor its employees, agents, or contractors, review, control, or take responsibility for the content of these articles. Please read the Terms of Use for more information.