Link Found: Obesity, Gender and Periodontal Health

Being Male or Female Matters

The relationship between periodontal health and obesity has since been studied and analyzed yet one parameter has been left out which until now was discovered to have a vital role in the equation. And that’s a person’s biological sex. Apparently, being male or female matters in the link.

A recently published five-year study of individuals has rectified this oversight and has discovered that obese females are far more likely to suffer from the progression of periodontal attachment loss (PAL) than obese males. This study was conducted in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

582 individuals were enrolled in the study, interviewed and clinically examined five years prior and met their inclusion criteria. They were weighed and their Body Mass Index calculated according to the World Health Organization’s criteria. It was found that 19% are obese.

It was discovered that those who were more likely to experience the progression of periodontal disease are the obese ones, than those of normal weight. It was also the obese females that had a 64% increased risk for PAL progression. No such risk was observed with the obese males.

If periodontitis affects more than 50% of the world’s adult population and if the prevalence of obesity and being overweight is at approximated at 60%, the link is quite clear. Yet this is a study that, for the first time, it investigates the possibility that sex may modify this relationship.

This study, titled “Effect of obesity on periodontal attachment loss progression: a five-year population-based prospective study”, was published online in March 2017 in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology Digest.

Looking Out for Patients at Higher Risk

These study results may well serve us at Smile Art in Seattle in good stead. We have had our fair share of high risk patients for periodontal disease and see to it that both genders receive proper care and treatment. Knowing that females may be at higher risk for PAL, we offer heighten awareness and closer monitoring.