To Your Health
January, 2022 (Vol. 16, Issue 01)
Lose the Weight: Your Teeth Will Thank You for It
By Editorial Staff
Not just your teeth; your overall dental health will benefit from weight loss, suggests research. When people with weight challenges consider the benefits of dropping the extra pounds, things like healthier
and more confident
are frequently expressed – but improved dental health? Yes, it's also a benefit of losing weight.
Researchers have discovered that excessive inflammation caused by obesity increases the presence of a particular type of cell ("myeloid-derived suppressor cells"). These immune cells can develop into a number of cell types, one of which breaks down bone tissue. Of course, bone loss is a primary symptom of gum disease and can lead to tooth loss.
Published in the Journal of Dental Research, the study also examined how diet type can impact obesity, inflammation and production of these cells. Using an animal model, researchers fed mice two dramatically different diets for 16 weeks: a low-fat diet (10 percent of energy from fat) or a high-fat diet (45 percent of energy from fat). The high-fat diet resulted in weight gain, increased inflammation and greater production of MDSCs in the bone marrow and spleen compared to the low-fat diet. Mice receiving the high-fat diet also developed more osteoclasts (the cells that break down bone tissue) and lost more bone that holds the teeth in place.
If you're struggling with weight issues, your doctor can help formulate a sensible program of balanced eating and consistent physical activity to help get your weight into the healthy range. And when it comes to motivation, add healthy teeth to the long list of health and wellness benefits you'll enjoy.