New research from Israel shows that people who are underweight or obese have a higher risk of tooth decay.
The study looked at the dental records of 66,790 Israeli soldiers and other relevant data. Researchers compared the rate of decayed teeth in those of varying weight classifications. Those in the normal weight range had an average of two decayed teeth. For overweight soldiers, the rate was 2.1. On the other hand, the underweight and obese demographics had a higher rate of 2.4 decayed teeth on average.
What the Study Suggests
The researchers suggest raising awareness of the common morbidities of being obese or underweight. The study shows that if you are malnourished, you are likely to have a weakened jawbone, softened enamel, and deficient gums. Your weakened jawbone can cause teeth to fall out or become mobile. Moreover, you will have an increased chance of cavities with softened enamel. With poor gums, you are vulnerable to gum disease. On the other hand, obesity leaves you prone to more missing teeth, fewer essential dental fillings, and higher tooth decay levels.
This shows that weight can be an overall indicator of health. Inflammation, linked with obesity, wreaks havoc on the body, including the mouth. The study demonstrates health is not just a snapshot of one area. Being an ideal weight and eating wholesome foods are important for good oral and overall health. The study also shows the need for redirecting resources to focus on dental efforts for these groups.
Knowing that there is a slightly higher risk of tooth decay if you are obese or underweight is important. Nonetheless, everyone should monitor their dental health by having regular cleanings and checkups. During your checkup, Dr. Sharma will evaluate your oral health and let you know if you are at risk of tooth decay or show any signs of it.