Healthy Gums Help You to Stay in Shape

Periodontal disease can lead to Weight control and effect physical fitness.

The health complications of being overweight, such as increased risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, have long been reported. Health care professionals often urge patients to manage their weight and strive to get physical exercise each day to achieve and maintain overall health. And now, researchers have uncovered another fact about maintaining a fit lifestyle: Healthy teeth and gums.

Periodontal disease involves inflammation and infection that destroys the tissues that support the teeth, including the gums, the periodontal ligaments, and the tooth sockets. Gingivitis is a form of periodontal disease.

In a study published by the Journal of Periodontology, Japanese researchers found that subjects who had a lower incidence of severe periodontitis , maintained a healthy weight and had high levels of physical fitness. Over one thousand subjects aged 20 to 77 were studied in a combined medical and dental study. Using body mass index (BMI) and percent body fat as a measure of weight control, and maxi-mal oxygen consumption (VO2max) as a measure of physical fitness, researchers compared subjects’ weight and fitness variables with the results of a periodontal examination. Those with the lowest BMI and highest levels of fitness had significantly lower rates of severe periodontitis.