The Link Between Obesity And Gum Disease

Traditional Chinese medicine has an outlook on health and disease that is being validated more and more with every new advancement of modern medicine. The concept is that the body is a whole, and illness of one part of the body will always reflect on some larger problem. That is why treating the symptoms of a disease will only cause temporary relief, and a change of diet or of living circumstances is necessary in order to properly heal. This is the basis of the Western idea of holistic medicine, a rediscovering of this old idea of the body working as a single unit. 


A good example of how an illness affects all areas of the body is obesity. Excessive fat can cause stress to the skeletal structure leading to hip and back problems, and in recent years we have learned how this problem also taxes every single major organ inspected; the heart, liver and kidneys are overworked and frequently fail. The arteries and veins are also clogged and this just adds to the problems. So it should be no surprise that when the body is in a condition like this, every part of it is affected, and no part of it can be healthy. Thus the gums of obese people, as they are kept alive by the cardiovascular system, are also negatively impacted. 

How Exactly

The human body produces a certain number of cytokines. Cytokines are a protein that have inflammatory properties. When you are obese, your body produces much more of these cytokines than is necessary. When these cytokines get into the bloodstream and travel down to the gums and the blood supply of the alveolar tissue they tend to cause inflammation of the gums, which in and of itself causes the body to make more cytokines, and the process thus snowballs out of control, and you are left with gum disease. Your gums will also weaken when inflamed and thus will be left open for infection. 

Almost half of the adult population of the USA is affected by gum disease, and about 30% of Americans are obese. This is not a coincidence, as American food is known to have high sugar and sodium levels, which causes diabetes, heart disease, obesity and gum disease, and all of these are interlinked and are caused by improper eating habits. Couple this with a sedentary lifestyle, and you have a recipe for disaster.