We know that healthy gums are the foundation of healthy teeth and that they may also be tied to a healthy heart, but now we’re learning that profound weight loss may do our gums a favor, according to a study from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine.
The researchers studied 31 obese people with gum disease. Half of the group with an average body mass index (BMI) of 39 received periodontal treatments and also underwent gastric bypass surgery and also had fat cells removed from their abdomens. The other half of the group, whose BMI was around 35, received the gum treatment, but not the surgery.
Although both groups did well after the nonsurgical periodontal treatments of scaling/root planing and at-home instructions for oral hygiene, the group that had the surgery fared better in terms of their gum health. The researchers hypothesize that this is due to a reduction in inflammation, improved insulin function and a reduction in the hormone leptin, which regulates metabolism, following the weight-loss surgery. While this preliminary study is promising for gum health and weight loss, more research is planned to support these findings.
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