Overweight, Obesity, and Hyperlipidemia

Obesity is the most common nutritional disorder in America.

Obesity is a significant risk factor for numerous adult diseases, and may be a factor in the incidence of periodontitis. Gingivitis, periodontitis, and an increase in dental caries, that is decayed, filled and missing teeth, have all been associated with overweight or obesity. Conditions associated with obesity, for example “metabolic syndrome X”, which is a clustering of dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes may also worsen periodontitis. The greatest percent weight gain associated with oral diseases occurs during the initial disease phases. Wood and co-workers reported that when gingival bleeding begins and is allowed to progress, body mass index [weigh2t/height(kg2/m)] increases from 18 to 25 kg2/m, and then levels off. A similar pattern was observed for decayed, filled and missing teeth. Human body fat content may influence morbidity and mortality, and its measurement and location may provide useful information about other various disease states. There is also a considerable chance for biological variation in body fat in individuals with periodontitis.


Research has established links between periodontitis and increased fat (lipid) levels in the blood, which have serious negative impacts on systemic health. Cutler and co-workers found an association between periodontitis and significantly increased blood lipid levels, and suggested the role of systemic exposure to P. gingivalis lipopolysaccharides (LPS). They also reported that elevated triglycerides are able to modify IL-1 beta production by polymorphoneutrophils (PMNs) stimulated with P. gingivalis.