How is Poor Oral Health Linked to Obesity?

You’ve probably heard already that poor oral health may lead to heart complications, or to diabetes, but have you heard that poor oral health might be directly linked to obesity?

According to a study published in the Journal of Canadian Dental Association, people who have got fewer than 21 biological teeth (natural teeth), are exposed to the risk of becoming obese.

The research has been led by Jean-Philippe Chaput who is member of the Canadian Obesity Network and New Professionalism, and Professor Angelo Tremblay from the Universite Lavel faculty of medicine.

The study indicates that people with fewer teeth and a poor oral health consume less healthy foods.

Both researchers have found in specialty literature that when people have fewer teeth they actually cannot chew fruits and vegetables rich in nutrients such as fibers and vitamins. Instead, they consume more “smooth” foods that are unhealthy.

Tremblay and Chaput want to raise the awareness that a good relationship between dentists and dieteticians is of paramount importance.

For example, a dentist should refer a patient with too many missing teeth to a good dietitian, who will teach the patient what kinds of foods to eat in order to maintain good health.

Thus, even patients with many extracted/missing teeth will be able to follow a diet that is balanced and rich in nutrients, and this will have a positive effect on oral health as well. By eating healthy foods, the patient is able to maintain healthy gums, so that he will not lose any more natural teeth.

An earlier study, conducted 2 years ago makes a link between oral bacteria and obesity. In this study there were involved 313 women who were overweight and with a BMI exceeding 30.

Researchers have compared the saliva of these overweight women to the saliva of 232 healthy people. The have found that the bacteria called Selenomonas noxia which has been found in 98.4% of the overweight women is actually the culprit which leads to the overweight condition.