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Obesity in Women Linked with Poorer Oral Health
December 13, 2012

By Nancy Volkers
InteliHealth News Service

INTELIHEALTH - Some oral health measures are linked with obesity in women, says a Swedish study.

The study included about 1,000 women who were part of a larger study. They were middle-aged or older, with an average age of about 65. The researchers collected data on:

  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Waist size
  • Number of natural teeth
  • Number of teeth with fillings or crowns
  • Number of untreated spots of tooth decay
  • Dental visits per year
  • Last dental visit
  • Dry mouth
  • Chewing ability

The researchers found that:

  • Women with fewer than 20 of their natural teeth were more likely to be obese, compared with women who had 20 or more teeth.

  • Women who visited the dentist less than once a year were more likely to be obese, compared with women who went at least once a year.

These findings do not mean that poor dental health causes obesity, the researchers said. They also do not mean that obese people always have poorer dental health.

Other studies have found that people with fewer natural teeth are more likely to be obese.

Another Swedish study also found that people who made fewer dental visits were more likely to be obese. The authors said this could be because people who make regular dental visits are more likely to have other healthy habits. Obese people may be less likely to follow healthy habits, they said.

The study appears in the November issue of the journal BMC Oral Health.

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