Obesity increases the risk of periodontitis and tooth loss

In the worst case, the periodontitis or gum disease may end up causing the fall of dental parts. and to obesity is one of the factors that could most speed up this process.

A study from the University at Buffalo showed that the Chronic inflammation Caused by being overweight, it increases the cells that destroy bone tissue, including the bone that supports the teeth.


Periodontitis is a severe infection gums that affect more than 47% people over 40 years old.

It damages soft tissue and, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. the bone that holds the tooth it is destroyed and the piece becomes loose until it is lost.

The disorder usually finds its origin in plaque formationa sticky film composed mainly of bacteria.

  • The usual signs of periodontitis are red swollen gums shiny or purple, sensitive to the touch and they bleed easily.
  • The gums go retract and the teeth appear longer than normal, gaps appear between them and may come loose.
  • It also causes bad breath and pain when chewing.

The risk factors for gum disease are:

  • Gingivitis or inflammation of the gums.
  • Poor oral health that promotes the formation of bacterial plaque.
  • Smoke.
  • Hormonal changes caused by pregnancy or menopause.
  • Lack of vitamin C.
  • Certain diseases, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.
  • Drugs that cause dry mouth.
  • Obesity.

Obesity and chronic inflammation

The link between gum disease and obesity has been known for a long time, but the mechanism this explains this association.

Researchers from the University at Buffalo have shown that the key lies in the Chronic inflammation which causes obesity.

inflammation is a natural process And necessary generated by our immune system to cope Pathogens which can make us sick.

When he immune system detects a potential enemythey go to the place immune cells which, through inflammation, fight it. But once the problem is solved, it the inflammation subsides.

  • The problem appears when the inflammation is chronic, which occurs in the case of obesity.

inflammation destroys bone

Researchers from the University at Buffalo have discovered that this constant state of chronic inflammation caused by obesity increases a very specific group of immune cells: myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC).

  • It is a heterogeneous group of immature myeloid cells. MDSCs, which originated in bone marrowdevelop into different types of cells, including osteoclasts (bone destroying cells).

At this point, it should be noted that the bone is living tissue which is in constant renewal.

THE steoblasts are the cells that create bone and osteoclasts they destroy it. But if there is no balance between the two and the osteoclasts increase, the bone destruction. A situation that would promote obesity.

Study details

To check the bind between obesity And periodontitisthe researchers looked at two groups of mice fed very different diets for 16 weeks:

  • A group with a low fat diet (only 10% of daily energy came from fat).
  • The other group with a high fat diet (45%).

They observed that the group that ingested more fat suffered more obesity, inflammation and a further increase of MDSC cells in the bone marrow and spleen compared to the low-fat diet group.

The high-fat diet group also developed more osteoclasts (bone destroying cells) and lost more alveolar bone (the bone that holds the teeth in place).


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