What is Obesity?
Obesity is defined as an accumulation of excessive body fat, which may lead to reduction in life expectancy, increase in medical problems, and other adverse impacts of the individual’s health. It is considered a medical condition.
- Obesity affects more than a third (35.7 percent) of American adults
- Obese individuals are at higher risk of many diseases, especially osteoarthritis, some forms of cancer, sleep apnea, and type II diabetes.
- Obesity is most commonly caused by excessive intake of food (carbohydrates and sugars), sedentary lifestyle, and possibly genetic factors. (it is rare for genetic susceptibility to be the sole cause of obesity).
- Obesity rates are increasing among all age groups, and most health experts consider it among the top public health concerns of our era.
- The cost of medical care associated with obesity-related conditions are estimated to be $147 billion annually.
- Obesity is among the leading preventable causes of death globally.
How is obesity related to your mouth?
Research shows that obese individuals have a higher risk of oral
disease as compared to the general public. Published studies have found
that people affected by obesity typically have more decay and a greater
number of missing teeth, and that they receive fewer necessary tooth
fillings. Additionally, the rate of gum disease is 76 percent higher
among obese adults age 18 to 34 than it is among people of a healthy
weight in the same age group.
While the connection between obesity and dental health is complex, part of the reason may be diet. The combination of food particles and bacteria causes teeth to decay. Plaque, a colorless sticky film containing bacteria, forms on oral surfaces. Bacteria feed on sugars from foods and beverages that you consume, and they create acid as a byproduct of this process. After you’ve finished eating, this acid continues attacking the tooth enamel for at least 20 minutes. With repeated exposure, acid erodes and destroys tooth enamel, causing cavities.
How can you minimize your risk of obesity?
- Opt for a healthy diet
- Be sure you are drinking enough water
- Choose healthy snacks, and limit your consumption
- Avoid sugary beverages