Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems. Body mass index (BMI), a measurement which compares weight and height, defines people as overweight (pre-obese) if their BMI is between 25 and 30 kg/m2, and obese when it is greater than 30 kg/m2.]
Obesity increases the likelihood of various diseases, particularly heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breathing difficulties during sleep, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. Obesity is most commonly caused by a combination of excessive food energy intake, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility, although a few cases are caused primarily by genes, endocrine disorders, medications or psychiatric illness. Evidence to support the view that some obese people eat little yet gain weight due to a slow metabolism is limited; on average obese people have a greater energy expenditure than their thin counterparts due to the energy required to maintain an increased body mass.
Preventing and controlling obesity generally begins with examining and modifying our diet. Researchers from the University of Washington School of Dentistry suggest there may be a connection between a high glycemic diet and dental disease.
Fermentable carbohydrates, such as refined wheat flour, potatoes, rice, and pasta, convert into simple sugars in the mouth. These foods are believed by many experts to contribute to weight gain, leading up to obesity.
The connection these same sugars have on our dental health by dental equipment is rather interesting. When ingested, simple sugars are converted into plaque if not removed immediately. As plaque begins to accumulate on our teeth and gums, the risk for varying forms of gum disease such as gingivitis and periodontitis, as well as tooth decay, may become inevitable.
As we continue to learn about the connection between our health and our mouth, the reaffirmation that regular dental examinations, meticulous dental hygiene by brushing and flossing twice daily, and conscious dietary modifications may prevent health complications related to gum disease and essentially oral bacteria. Who knows, a trip to see your dentist just might be what the doctor ordered.