Oral Health and Obesity

More than 2 out of 3 adults are overweight or obese. Most of us are well informed of the increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke and even specific types of cancer that obesity brings. Unfortunately, those that suffer from obesity also tend to have oral health problems as well. Most of these dental problems can be contributed to an unhealthy diet and likelihood of poor hygiene in general.

Poor Diet
There is an obvious correlation between a poor, unhealthy diet and obesity. Consequently, diets that are high in sugar also result in major dental problems. Both gum disease and tooth decay are caused from eating or drinking too much sugar – especially if you are eating sweets and drinking soda while not brushing and flossing regularly! Since untreated gum disease puts you at a risk for diabetes, stroke and heart disease, imagine the increased risk that an obese person with gum disease has for these serious health conditions.
Reflux
Obesity comes with a full list of side effects and consequences. One common problem is gastro-esophageal reflux. Patients who frequently have bouts of regurgitated acid will undoubtedly have a disrupted pH balance in their mouths. High acidity levels wreak havoc on your teeth and gums, causing enamel erosion and eventually tooth decay. Avoiding certain foods or taking heartburn medicine can help obese patients fight high amounts of acid and save their teeth.

Group Health Dental is committed to helping patients achieve optimal dental care regardless of their physical condition. Do not avoid going to the dentist out of embarrassment or fear of not fitting in the dental chair. A dentist can find ways to accommodate obese patients and make them feel at ease while they receive essential dental cleanings or other procedures.

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