Dentist Orland Park, Palos Heights, Palos Park, Lockport Obesity and Oral Health

Your Orland Park IL Dentist Discusses the Dangers of Obesity to Oral Health

While obesity primarily causes heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and type 2 diabetes, it also has effects on the entire body including one’s oral health. Obesity is considered a primary health concern and an ongoing epidemic to the United States population. Nearly one-third of the adult population is classified as either overweight or obese. Oral health is frequently overlooked as a consequential long term effect in patients with obesity. However, there are a vast number of complications to one’s oral health that are all linked to being overweight.


Oral Bacteria

The composition of an individual’s saliva could be linked to obesity. More studies have found that the makeup of a person’s oral bacteria in the mouth may be a biological indicator for present and future weight issues. Some medical experts believe that oral bacteria may participate in the body’s processes that result in the development of weight issues.



It’s obviously understood that obesity occurs when a person consumes more calories than they are able to use during a day. People who exercise and perform physical activities daily are able to consume more calories than those who do not. While certain medical disorders and conditions can contribute to obesity, fewer than 1% of obesity cases are caused by physical issues. Therefore, obesity is generally avoidable and controllable by a person’s diet. Studies have found that there is a connection between the development of gum disease and the consumption of high sugar and high carbohydrate diets. Anytime we eat, food can become stuck between our teeth and gums. Foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates are more likely to attract harmful bacteria that makeup plaque. Foods with high carbohydrates and sugars are typically processed and refined foods from potato, rice, flour, and pasta products. These foods are also interestingly enough the same kinds of foods that are overly consumed by individuals with obesity and weight issues. Since the digestion of these carbohydrates begins in the mouth, experts argue that eating a diet rich in refined sugars and carbohydrates will likely contribute to oral health issues like tooth decay and gum disease as well as overall health issues like obesity, so do your mouth and your body a favor by trading in those highly processed snack foods for fruits, vegetables, and other healthy choices.


Formation of Plaque

As mentioned above, diets that are heavy in simple sugars are consequently converted into plaque within the mouth at a much faster pace than healthy foods are. As plaque begins to form and accumulate on the teeth and gums, the risk for developing bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay also increase significantly.


While obesity continues to remain a major health concern for Americans today, it’s effect on oral health is frequently unexamined. As it turns out, obesity truly is a condition that affects the entire body. Your Orland Park IL dentist encourages patients to eat healthier by trading in simple sugars and overly processed meals and snacks for home cooked meals with vegetables, low-fat meats, and fruits. It’s also important to visit your Orland Park IL dentist every 6 months for an examination and professional cleaning, especially if you are overweight and are at a higher risk for gum disease and tooth decay. Please don’t hesitate to call us at (708) 403-9848.