According to analysis of data involving nearly 37,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, a potential link exists between obesity and gingivitis and periodontitis. The study involved men who did not have gum disease at the beginning of the study. Every two years, the men were asked to report their weight, hip and waist circumferences, and gum disease status. At the end of 16 years, a significant relationship was found between obesity and gum disease, even after accounting for variables such as smoking, activity level, etc. This study confirms a previous study that showed the same link. Researchers theorize that the worse the body’s insulin resistance (which is linked with obesity), the higher the prevalence of gum disease.
As the evidence accumulates that gum disease is related to disease in other parts of the body, everyone has good reason to brush, floss, and schedule regular dental exams.