When you first think of obesity, chances are dental health is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. After all, we tend to categorize the potential risks of obesity such as heart disease under the jurisdiction of physicians rather than dentists. However, believe it or not, many studies have linked those with obesity to higher risks of certain dental disorders such as periodontal disease. So, regardless of whether you’ve got a few pounds under your belt, have a loved one that does, or might be on your way, read on to find out what potential risks you might be facing.
Heightened Rate of Periodontal Disease — Studies done at Case Western Reserve University have highlighted a hidden threat to dental health for those with obesity — periodontal disease. Due to a higher amount of fat tissue, which provides an optimal environment for macrophages that cause inflammation, patients with obesity on the whole tend to be more at risk of the development of periodontal disease.
Possible Development of Tooth Decay Related Disorders — Of course, everybody is at risk of problems as a result of tooth decay. Though no scientific studies have specifically linked the factors, those with obesity seem to be at an increased risk of developing cavities. Theories point to consumption of a high sugar intake in a diet — which can contribute to the development and spread of plaque and tartar in the mouth, which cause tooth decay.
Aversion to Dentist’s Appointments — Surveys and studies indicate that those suffering from obesity are less likely to visit the dentist office than the general populace. Some responders indicated the inability to be accommodated by a dental office’s facilities due to their weight a problem, and often a source of embarrassment and thus skipping of regular dental visits. Though it is true that many dental chairs cannot support patients above a weight limit, some dentists have accommodations for obese patients. If you feel you may be at risk, do some research of the dental offices in your area.
If you have any questions regarding how obesity might affect your dental health or would like to schedule an appointment with our office, contact Noble Smile Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today!