Inflammation Link Obesity and Gum Disease

Inflammation Link Obesity and Gum Disease

Obesity and gum disease are both very common in U.S. adults today. Recently, researchers found an important link between obesity and gum disease – both are associated with high levels of inflammation. Here is an overview of this connection and what it means for dental patients.


Inflammation in Obesity and Gum Disease

Researchers have long known that obese individuals tend to have high levels of cytokines, or inflammatory molecules. Similarly, people suffering from gum disease tend to have high cytokine production. When cytokines are produced, they circulate through the blood stream and cause inflammation elsewhere. In patients with obesity, the high levels of cytokines may drive inflammation into the gums, leading to periodontitis.


So, Does Obesity Cause Gum Disease?

The connection between obesity and gum disease warrants more research, but scientists cannot yet say whether obesity can actually cause gum disease. However, the link may point to the need for extra periodontal care for obese patients. Daily brushing and flossing, biannual check-ups, and limitation or avoidance of sugary foods can help minimize periodontal risks. Weight loss, in addition to other health benefits, may also improve gum health in patients with obesity.


Preventive care is always preferred for keeping the teeth and gums healthy. Together with our periodontist, patients can develop a personal plan to maintain good gum health for the long term. Patients can schedule a consultation at our dental office to learn more about gum disease risk factors and the ways our dentist can help prevent the condition.

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