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Gum Disease Treatment Hindered by Extra Weight?
January 8, 2014

By Nancy Volkers
InteliHealth News Service

INTELIHEALTH - Being overweight may affect the success of gum disease treatment, says a study.

Researchers from London's Eastman Dental Institute did the study. It included 260 adults with severe gum (periodontal) disease. They were given dental exams before the study started, and again 2 months after treatment for gum disease.

Treatment involved scaling and root planing. This is a deep cleaning of the teeth that removes plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line.

Two months after treatment, people who were overweight or obese were more likely to still have some symptoms of gum disease. They had more periodontal pockets – spaces between the tooth and gum – than people of normal weight did. They also had deeper periodontal pockets.

The researchers also examined the effects of smoking on treatment for gum disease. Smokers also were less likely to have successful treatment. The effect of overweight or obesity was about as strong as the effect of smoking.

The study appears in the January issue of the Journal of Dental Research.

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