Overweight and Obesity & How They Affect Oral Health
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 2013 to 2014 reported that more than one in three adults are overweight. Meanwhile, another one in three adults is considered to have obesity. Also, about one in 13 adults are said to have extreme obesity.
Being overweight or having obesity is described as having a weight higher than normal weight adjusted for height.
People who are overweight or obese are at higher risk for many serious diseases and health conditions such as:
- coronary heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- sleep apnea
- breathing problems, among others.
Aside from those mentioned above, overweight and obese individuals are also prone to oral-related problems. In a research by the British Dental Health Foundation, the correlation between having high levels of oral bacteria and extra pounds was found. Researchers analyzed saliva samples from 500 women, 60 percent of which were considered clinically obese.
The research revealed that compared to healthy women, 98 percent of the overweight subjects had significantly higher levels of selenomonas noxia. Selenomonas noxia is a strain of oral bacteria linked to periodontal diseases and poor dental health. Another study echoed these findings. The study showed that increased risk of gum diseases in obese or overweight individuals may be due to the high body mass indices which produces a higher level of inflammatory proteins.
Eating Disorders & Why You Should Worry For Your Oral Health
People who are overweight and obese are not the only ones who must be concerned about their diet or eating practices. Individuals suffering from eating disorders are prone to be afflicted with dental problems, as well.
According to statistics, about 35 million Americans have eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and nervosa. People who have anorexia starve themselves and vomits food intake as a direct consequence of the extreme fear of weight gain. Meanwhile, those who have bulimia undergo excessive eating but induce food purging afterward.
Eating disorders can impede nutrients and minerals in nourishing the body. In turn, this results to weak immune system. When the immune system is week, it affects the oral health by destroying teeth structure and weakening the teeth enamel. When vomiting, gastric acid passes through the stomach, which can contribute to the deterioration of the enamel.
Also, weak teeth are more prone to breaking and discoloration. Mouth and throat tenderness may also be observed in those with eating disorders, with worst cases leading to weakening of the jaw bone.
Addressing Weight and Eating Problems
It is vital that weight problems and eating disorders be addressed to achieve healthier teeth and mouth. Practicing good oral hygiene is necessary. However, if weight problems and eating disorders are not given attention, oral health will remain at risk of dental problems.
Consult with a doctor on the possible ways to help overcome the issues and the best treatment that can be availed. Aside from professional help, it is essential that the patient has the willingness to overcome the weight problem or eating disorder, so that response to treatment will be better and effective.