Posted on Dec 14, 2011, 6 a.m.
Achieving a healthy body-mass index (BMI) may ward off gum disease.
Periodontitis and obesity are both chronic health problems, and some studies suggest an association between the two conditions. D. Lakkis, from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine (Ohio, USA), and colleagues studied 31 obese people who underwent treatment for gum disease. Half of the patients (average body-mass index [BMI] of 39 kg/m2) had gastric bypass weight loss surgery and also had fat cells removed from their abdomen. The other patients (average BMI of 35 kg/m2, ) did not have gastric bypass surgery or fat removed from their abdomen. All the participants underwent nonsurgical periodontal (gum) treatments of scaling/root planing and received instructions for oral hygiene at home. Both groups showed overall improvement in gum health but those in the surgery group showed greater improvement on measures for periodontal attachment, bleeding, probing depths and plaque levels. The study authors comment that: “An improved response to non-surgical periodontal therapy is observed in obese patients who had significant weight loss following bariatric surgery compared to obese subject who did not have such a surgery.”
Lakkis D, Bissada NF, Saber A, Khaitan L, Palomo L, Narendran S, Al-Zahrani MS. “Response to Periodontal Therapy in Subjects Who Had Weight Loss Following Bariatric Surgery and Obese Counterparts: A Pilot Study.” J Periodontol., Oct 20, 2011.