May 1, 2017
You care about your overall health and that of your teeth and gums. While you try to be proactive about your diet to maintain your weight for your overall well-being, there is another important reason you should eat a well-balanced diet. New research shows that obesity is directly linked to increasing your risk for periodontal disease (gum disease). Now, as you work to maintain your weight, you have another goal to focus on—your gum health. With a proper diet and care from your dentist in Mt. Holly, you can promote your health and your smile.
Reduce Your Risk for Gum Disease
It is estimated that 50% of adults in the United States have a form of gum disease, which is an infection that develops in the gum tissue. While there are known factors to increase your risk for the condition, such as smoking and genetics, you weight now appears to influence your gum health as well.
Researchers from the State University of New York at Buffalo analyzed data from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This involved information collected from over 12,000 participants who were between the ages of 20 to 90 and had periodontal disease. The results of the data showed that 43% of the participants were overweight.
After analyzing the data, researchers believe that insulin resistance contributes to the relationship between obesity and gum disease. The severity of the gum infection is further influenced by increases in insulin resistance.
This appears to be because those who have a higher body mass index produce cytokines, which are known to cause systemic inflammation and insulin resistance. This chronic stimulation and secretion of the cytokines that cause inflammation are also found when a periodontal infection occurs. Together, these both contribute to insulin resistance, increasing the risk for diabetes mellitus.
Protect Your Gum Health
While you work to maintain a balanced diet and weight, it is important to be proactive about your gum health as well. In addition to brushing your teeth twice a day, you need to floss daily. Flossing cleans between the teeth and around the gum line to remove plaque and tartar buildup. This is vital to protecting your gums from infection.
Through a balanced diet, you will give your body and gums the nutrients they need to ward off infection. Avoid foods that are high in sugars, starches, and acids. Stop additional factors that increase your risk for gum disease, like smoking. Be sure to maintain your preventive dental appointments twice a year. At each appointment, we will clean your teeth to further reduce your risk for the infection. In addition to checking the health of your teeth, we will evaluate your gums to provide the necessary intervention if gum disease develops.
Maintain a Healthy Smile
As your award-winning dental team, we believe in helping you achieve the highest level of well-being with a healthy smile. If you need periodontal therapy, we offer the effective and high-quality care you need. Contact our office today to schedule a preventive appointment or consultation for periodontal therapy.
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