Many medical professionals consider obesity a chronic disease. Obesity is on the rise in the United States and younger and younger members of our community are becoming obese due to poor nutrition and eating habits. Research demonstrates that obesity increases the risk for hypertension; type 2 diabetes; arthritis; CVD; respiratory problems; and endometrial, breast, prostate, and colon cancers.1 A recent research study also shows that obesity increases the risk of periodontal disease, and it may be insulin resistance that regulates the relationship between obesity and periodontal disease.1 Individuals with elevated body mass indices (BMI) produce a higher level of inflammatory proteins.1
The classifications of overweight and obese pertain to more than 60% of American adults. It is even higher for some high risk populations, such as African-American women, placing these individuals at greater risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Some authorities estimate that two out of three Americans are overweight or obese, and projections of trends for the future indicate an increase in the incidence of obesity in the general population.1
Dental professionals need to understand the obesity epidemic in order to take proactive steps in addressing this issue with patients who are obese. Good nutrition and exercise should be stressed during dental appointments. Patients should be educated on the role that obesity may play in the development of diabetes, CVD, and cancer.
A thorough medical history should be taken and reviewed with the patient — any medical issues that may point to a cause for the obesity should be noted and the patient referred for evaluation by his/her physician. The oral health status should also be evaluated and treatment rendered based on the diagnosis. Emphasis should be placed on the reduction of plaque and accompanying inflammation, both supragingivally and subgingivally. Home care should be reinforced, and patients should be encouraged to floss regularly and brush twice daily with a dentifrice that offers antibacterial protection and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Grand Rounds in Oral and Systemic Medicine. Vol.1, No 2, 2006, pp. 36 - 47.
Colgate® Total® contains a patented triclosan/ copolymer formulation, which provides clinically proven 12-hour antibacterial protection, plus anti-inflammatory benefits.
*Colgate Total® is approved for the prevention of gingivitis, not approved for the prevention or treatment of periodontitis or other diseases.