Periodontal diseases have been associated with numerous systemic diseases and conditions, including diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity. Patients who are overweight or obese have an increased rate of periodontitis by 27% and 81%, respectively.1 While the mechanisms of these interactions are not fully elucidated, the elevated proinflammatory cytokine levels seen in obesity may directly or indirectly affect periodontal tissues.2,3 Obesity may also affect the host immune response and increase the risk for periodontal pathogens.4-7 Furthermore, periodontal inflammation and microbiota may affect nutrient absorption and processing from the gut and within adipose tissues.8

This course seeks to improve the dental care provider’s understanding of the interaction between periodontal disease and obesity as well as aid in the clinical decision making to care for patients with obesity and periodontal disease.