A new study led by researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has revealed some interesting facts. This particular study included as many as 31 people struggling with both obesity and gum disease complications.
50% of the patients have gone through gastric bypass surgery, and doctors removed the fat cells from their abdomen. The BMI (body mass index) of these people was 39, and these patients actually had much better health results than the other half of the patients in the study who did not have their fat cells removed from the abdomen, but who had a lower average BMI of 35.
All of the patients involved in the study have undergone dental root planning and scaling, which are primary treatments to control periodontal disease. Moreover, they received oral health education regarding their home dental care regimen.
It has been found that both groups within the study showed some improvements, but the surgery study group of patients has showed much better health results for the following:
-less gum bleeding
-lower plaque accumulation levels
The researchers who led the study appointed two possible theories why the group of patients who underwent surgery had much better results:
1. Generally, the fat cells contain much higher levels of TNF and IL-6, known as cytokines which basically aid insulin to be more resistant. This means that if the patient loses weight, and there are less fat cells in their organism, insulin will become less and less and resistant and the diabetic functioning is improved. When the diabetic status of the patient is good, this also helps with giving better results for the gum disease treatment.
2. After weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery in medical terms), the production of leptin is reduced. Leptin is a protein hormone, which helps regulating energy levels in the human organism, and keeping in balance the metabolic system. With the leptin production levels reduced, the amount of cytokines was also reduced, which means there is less inflammation present in the body.
These are only two hypothetical theories, and researchers say there is definitely more research needed in order to see clearly the connection between the fat cells in the organism and periodontal disease.