Overweight and obesity are defined by abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that represents a threat to general health.9 The American Medical Association (AMA) voted on June 18, 2013 to classify obesity as a disease based upon its comorbidities with other diseases and the endemic proportions of obesity in the United States.10 Obesity is an excess of body fat in proportion to lean body mass, to the extent that health is impaired.11 Current scientific understanding demonstrates that fat cells (adipocytes) play an active role in the regulation and modulation of inflammation and immunity which has led to obesity being labeled a chronic disease.12 The direct effects of obesity on systemic health include altered blood pressure, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and a chronic pro-inflammatory state.13,14 Comorbidities and indirect effects currently being investigated include Diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease, stroke, respiratory disease, cancers, osteoarthritis, liver and gall bladder diseases.14 The morbidity and mortality associated with increasing obesity rates is of utmost public health concern, and successful efforts to reduce obesity rates will likely have significant benefits to the population.
Periodontitis is initiated by infectious agents resulting in tissue destruction caused by host inflammation within the supporting structures of the teeth.15,16 It has been shown to have an association with numerous systemic conditions in a bidirectional manner.17 The systemic inflammatory burden associated with periodontal diseases and the presence of putative periodontal pathogens that may affect patients’ systemic health can alter the treatment recommendations for patients who have both periodontitis and obesity. Due to the number of individuals affected by both periodontal disease18 and obesity,19 the understanding of the interaction between periodontal disease and obesity is of utmost importance to the dental practitioner.
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