WHAT IS OBESITY?
Obesity is best defined as the accumulation of excess body fat that can lead to increased medical conditions, reduced life expectancy, and other adverse impacts on one’s health. It is considered a medical condition and can be treated. Drs. Angela Rasmussen and Amanda del Cueto of Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, Florida, are well aware of the links between obesity and oral health. They can help you understand the connections and their seriousness.
STATISTICS AND FACTS ABOUT OBESITY
- Approximately 35.7% of American adults are affected by obesity
- Those with obesity have an increased risk of conditions and diseases, including sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, and some forms of cancer
- The three leading causes of obesity are an increase in the intake of food, specifically sugars and carbohydrates, a sedentary lifestyle, and genetic factors (though it is rare for genetics to be the primary or sole cause of obesity)
- Obesity rates are climbing in all areas, and many health experts consider it a top public health concern in our time
- Approximately $147 billion is spent each year on the cost of medical care associated with those with obesity-related conditions
- Obesity is also the leading preventable cause of death in the world
WHAT IS THE LINK BETWEEN OBESITY AND ORAL DISEASES?
It has been shown with repeated research that patients who are obese have a much higher risk of developing oral diseases than those who do not. Patients with obesity are also at a higher risk of having more decay and more missing teeth and are often not getting the fillings for cavities that they need. The rate of periodontal disease is approximately 76% higher in adults aged 18-34 with obesity compared to those with a healthy weight in the same age group.
The primary connection between dental health and obesity is likely diet-related, though the entire link is relatively complex. Food particles and bacteria lead to the development of tooth decay, caused by plaque forming on the surfaces of the teeth and gums. Bacteria in the mouth feed off sugars from foods consumed and create acid that can destroy natural tooth enamel. All it takes is 20 minutes after you’ve finished eating for this process to start. When patients have repeated exposure, they will experience cavities from acid erosion.
HOW CAN YOU MINIMIZE YOUR RISK OF OBESITY?
- Avoid sugary beverages
- Be sure you are drinking enough water
- Choose healthy snacks, and limit your consumption
- Opt for a healthy diet
LEARN MORE ABOUT ORAL CONDITIONS AND OBESITY
If you reside in the Tampa, FL area and want to speak to our team of professionals at Gentle Dentistry, connect with Drs. Angela Rasmussen and Amanda del Cueto by calling (813) 734-7102.