Link between periodontitis and obesity found
Periodontitis has been found to increase the chances of becoming obese, a New York Medical College (NYMC) study has shown.
The study infected mice with a bacteria known to cause periodontal disease.
Results found the bacteria worsened the functionality of fat tissue, shown to increase the chances of obesity.
‘For the first time ever we found evidence that bacteria can affect fat cells,’ said Nader Abraham, co-investigator and professor of medicine and pharmacology at NYMC.
‘A link between poor oral hygiene and cardiovascular disorders has already been proven by our group, yet many patients don’t visit the dentist regularly.
‘Our study shows another reason that everyone should brush and floss daily, as well as schedule routine dental cleanings.’
Improving oral health
Kavain, an extract found in the kava plant, was also found to counter inflammation in obese patients.
Previous studies have linked periodontitis with other health conditions such as some forms of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
‘Our study uniquely shows that bacteria found solely in the oral cavity has the ability to aggravate obesity,’ said lead author Salomon Amar, professor of pharmacology and microbiology and immunology at NYMC.
‘While oral hygiene isn’t the only factor in obesity and weight gain, the combination of better oral habits and the anti-inflammatory properties found in Kavain could reduce the health consequences associated with obesity a major world epidemics.’