phone icon

Call Now!

Weighing Scale

Weight, Eating Disorders, And Oral Health

Weight, Obesity, and Statistics

For decades, health organizations have been closely monitoring the eating patterns of those in the United States.

A troubling trend has emerged — adults have grown in heaps, pounds, and bounds. The U.S. tops one of the countries with the most obese population. In fact, 31.7 percent of men, 33.9 percent of women, and 25.8 percent of children are by definition “obese.”

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 2013 to 2014 states that more than one in three adults are overweight.

Being overweight or having obesity is described as having a weight higher than normal weight adjusted for height.

The survey adds that one in three adults currently has obesity. Also, about one in 13 adults are said to have extreme obesity.

Weight gain is frequently correlated with poor nutrition and lack of physical activity.

The Problem with Being Overweight And Obese

People who are overweight or obese are at higher risk for many serious diseases and health conditions. In fact, they can suffer hypertension, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and sleep apnea, among others.

Weight, Obesity, and Oral Health

Overweight and obese individuals are also prone to oral health problems.

In research by the British Dental Health Foundation, the correlation between having high levels of oral bacteria and extra pounds was found. Saliva samples from 500 women, 60 percent of who were considered obese, were analyzed.

The research revealed that compared to healthy women, 98 percent of the overweight subjects had significantly higher levels of Selenomonas noxia.

Selenomonas noxia is a strain of oral bacteria linked to periodontal diseases and poor dental health.

Another study echoed these findings, showing that increased risk of gum diseases in obese or overweight individuals may be due to the elevated body mass indices that produce a higher level of inflammatory proteins.

Moreover, people who are overweight or obese have the tendency to over-consume foods containing refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and fat.

However, people who are overweight and obese are not the only ones who should concern about their diet or eating practices.

Weight, Eating Disorders, and Oral Health

Individuals suffering from eating disorders are prone to dental problems as well.

According to statistics, about 35 million Americans have eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

People who have anorexia starve themselves of the nutrients they require. They also tend to vomit food intake as a direct consequence of the extreme fear of weight gain.

Those who have bulimia undergo excessive eating but induce purging afterward in an effort to not gain weight.

Eating disorders can impede nutrients and minerals in nourishing the body. They weaken the immune system and affect oral health.

They destroy the teeth structure and weaken the enamel of the teeth. When vomiting, gastric acid passes through the stomach which can also contribute to the deterioration of the enamel.

Also, weak teeth are more prone to breaking and discoloring. Mouth and throat tenderness may also be present in those with eating disorders. Worst cases can lead to the weakening of the jaw bone.

Treatment Options

It is vital that weight problems and eating disorders are addressed to not only achieve healthier teeth and mouth but for better overall health.

Although practicing good oral hygiene is necessary, if weight problems and eating disorders are not given attention, oral health will remain at risk of dental problems.

Consult with a doctor on the possible ways to help overcome the issues, and the best treatment that can be availed.

Aside from professional help, it is essential that the patient has the willingness to overcome the weight problem or eating disorder. This way, the response to treatment will be better and more effective.

Preventing Dental Problems And Obesity

  • Daily diet modification

One should replace empty calorie treats and sugary snacks with foods rich in vitamins and minerals. Thus, these healthier alternatives are better for both the body and oral tract.

  • Proper exercise

Taking a walk instead of riding a cab, or using the stairs instead of the elevator, are simple exercises that can burn excess calories. Regular exercise not only eliminates fatty deposits, but also improves the lung, heart, and circulatory system functions.

  • Regular brushing and flossing

Brushing the teeth twice a day and flossing can dramatically improve oral health.

  • Oral disinfection

Dentists recommend daily rinsing with antibacterial products as the best practice for effective plaque disruption. In fact, this can eliminate approximately 20 percent of the buildup.

  • Lubrication and moistening of the oral cavity

This bacteria minimization strategy involves increasing the consumption of water, using Xylitol products to reduce plaque accumulation, and chewing gum formulated containing Xylitol. The latter also contribute to saliva stimulation.

  • Neutralization of gastric acids

Baking soda mouth products help fight imbalances in oral acidity. Buffering agents can also do the trick. The agents are available for purchase as lozenges and rinses.

  • Dental re-mineralization

Dentists may prescribe mouth products that help inhibit the metabolic pathways of bacteria. Products containing certain levels of calcium, phosphorus, and fluoride are beneficial in restoring tooth structure.


 

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/index.html

https://www.healthline.com/health/obesity

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/threats-to-dental-health/ada-09-study-links-oral-bacteria-with-obesity

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/weight-loss

Scroll to top