A group of researchers from the Case Western University School of Dental Medicine found that people are better able to fend off gum disease when inflammation triggering fat cells are lost from the body.Initially, the study involved 31 patients struggling with obesity and gum disease. Approximately 50% of these patients have gone through gastric bypass surgery in order to have fat cells from the abdomen removed. These patients had an average body mass index of 39.
The other part of the study group involved people with a lower BMI of 35, who were also going through treatment for gum disease, but did not go through gastric bypass surgery.
Patients in both groups had periodontal treatment (nonsurgical) including scaling and root planing, and they also received oral hygiene instructions regarding how they should continue the treatment at home.
Even though both groups of patients involved in the study showed some improvements, the patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery got better dental results on measurements for gum pockets, plaque deposits, and bleeding.
Inflammation that is constantly present in the body can have extremely harmful effects with the passing of time. Inflammation pertaining to gum disease can easily lead to bone destruction and even tooth loss. Moreover, this inflammation can also cause breaks in the gums, which in turn allows harmful bacteria to enter the bloodstream and cause other systemic infections.
This particular study has been led by Nabil Bassada, and it was published in the Journal of Periodontology. Within the study there have been presented two different theories, which come to prove that patients who had less fat deposits actually saw an improvement in gum disease.
One of the theories is that losing weight will make insulin less resistant and then the diabetic status and periodontal disease will get improved.
The other theory relates to the “letptin” hormone (a hormone which regulates appetite). In patients that had bariatric surgery, this hormone production was reduced, inflammation was reduced and thus periodontal disease improved.
Researchers state additional studies and analysis is needed, but they are extremely confident that these preliminary findings are relevant in further studying how periodontal disease can be improved.