Keep Resolution To Be Fit For Body & Smile!

Posted on Feb 10, 2015 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Being fit helps oral health! For added reasons to keep to your new year’s resolution to ‘get fit,’ your smile is yet another.

It is widely known that being overweight puts a strain on the heart, joints, and one’s ability to enjoy good overall health. Sadly, over 63% of adults in the U.S. are either overweight or obese, with nearly 37% as overweight and 26% reaching the obese level.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine found indications that gum disease risk actually lowers when fat cells decrease. The study measured participants who were obese, with some of the participants undergoing bariatric surgery. All participants received periodontal treatment along with oral hygiene instructions to follow at home. While both groups showed improvement, the surgery group showed the most favorable results.

It seems an overabundance of fat cells secrete more cytokines, which make insulin more resistant to proper effectiveness in the body. Thus, more sugar in the blood occurs. A reduction in fat cells makes insulin less resistant and aids in the response to periodontal treatment.

Another benefit relates to how the leptin hormone helps to regulate metabolism. Along with cytokines, leptin has been linked to inflammation. Because leptin production was reduced after bariatric surgery, periodontal treatment was shown to be more effective.

Inflammation from gum disease can erode bone and cause tooth loss. It also makes harmful oral bacteria easier to enter the blood stream. This bacteria has been linked to preterm birth, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.

This shows how intricately your oral health is tied to your overall health, and vice versa. Maintaining healthy gums and keeping teeth in good condition prevents harmful bacteria from causing inflammation in the body. By the same token, having a healthy body seems to create a better foundation for the gums to battle harmful bacteria when it appears.

It’s always wise to adhere to good oral health habits along with other changes for overall health. Brush for 2 minutes twice a day, floss daily, avoid between-meal snacking, and keep your twice-a-year dental check-ups and cleanings. If you are behind on regular dental visits, schedule a thorough periodontal exam by calling (828) 274-9440. Once your gums are in a healthy state, they’ll be easy to maintain through preventive measures you can easily incorporate into your daily routine.

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