ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Scientists Discover How Osteoarthritis Destroys Cartilage
'Snowbirds' Beware the Climate Changes
Fruits and Veggies May Strengthen Bones
CANCER
Method for Treating Cervical Lesions May Pose Pregnancy Risks
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
More Cancer Tests Mean More False-Positive Results
CAREGIVING
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
Health Tip: Benefitting From Adult Day Care
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
DIABETES
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating More Soy May Be Good For Your Lung Function
Mediterranean Diet Enriched With Nuts Cuts Heart Risks
Eat Up, But Eat Healthy This Holiday Season
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Controversial Chemical Lingers Longer in the Body
Cleaning House May Be Risky for Women With Asthma
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
FITNESS
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
Good Warm-Ups Could Halve Sports Injuries
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Autumn Chores Often Hazardous
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
Treat Kids to a Safe Halloween
Babies Who Eat Fish Lower Eczema Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
SENIORS
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Add your Article

Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk

SATURDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Obese adults are at higher risk of gum disease than are normal-weight people, a new study finds.

For many years, researchers have been trying to determine the link between gum disease and cardiovascular risk, said study author Monik Jimenez, a doctoral candidate at the Harvard School of Public Health.

To explore the possible connection between excess weight and periodontal problems, Jimenez and her colleagues analyzed data from nearly 37,000 men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. They were free of periodontal disease at the beginning of the study and were followed for up to 16 years, from 1986 to 2002.

Researchers gathered information on the men's height, weight and self-reported gum disease diagnoses, as well as their waist and hip measurements.

"Obesity was associated with a 29 percent increased risk of periodontal disease over the course of the study" compared to those of normal weight, Jimenez said. She used the standard definition of obesity as a body-mass index of 30 or higher.

"There was a negligibly small risk" of gum disease among those who were overweight but not obese, she said.

Waist circumference was linked to a higher risk of gum disease, too. Men with a waist of 40 inches or more -- considered a risk for heart disease -- had a 19 percent higher risk of getting gum disease than those with a waist under 40 inches.

In a second study, Jimenez and her colleagues at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan found that an elevated waist-hip ratio (WHR) was linked to a greater risk of moderate gum disease in men and women age 70 and above.

Those with an elevated waist-to-hip ratio were nearly six more likely to have gum disease as those who did not have an elevated waist-to-hip ratio. In women, the waist-to-hip ratio is considered elevated if it is .88 or above; in men, if it is .95 or higher. For instance, a woman with a 36-inch waist and 40-inch hips has a WHR of .90.

Jimenez is scheduled to present the findings Saturday at the International Association for Dental Research general session in Miami Beach, Fla.

The findings build on previous research, said David Cochran, president of the American Academy of Periodontology and chairman of the Department of Periodontics at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

"It's been known that diabetics' gum disease is worse," he said. There have been other associations uncovered, such as heart disease and gum disease and gum disease and cancer risk in men. In a previous study, researchers found a link between obesity and gum disease in younger people.

>Gum diseases include a mild form called gingivitis, in which gums bleed easily. But that can progress to periodontitis, in which bacteria in the plaque irritate the gums and provoke an inflammatory response, according to the American Academy of Periodontology.

The common denominator may be inflammation, Cochran said. "Periodontal inflammation and inflammation throughout the body are very much associated with one another," he said.

While the new studies don't prove cause-and-effect, Cochran said it's reason enough to recommend a heart-healthy diet that's also good for your gums.

-Kathleen Doheny

More information

To assess your risk of gum disease, visit the American Academy of Periodontology.



SOURCES: Monik Jimenez, doctoral candidate, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; David Cochran, D.D.S., Ph.D., president, American Academy of Periodontology, and professor and chairman, department of periodontics, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio; April 4, 2009, presentation, International Association of Dental Research general session, Miami Beach, Fla.

Last Updated: April 05, 2009

Copyright 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

More articles at www.eholistic.com