Obesity, diabetes and periodontitis--a triangular relationship?

British dental journal

PubMedID: 23846063

Levine RS. Obesity, diabetes and periodontitis--a triangular relationship?. Br Dent J. 2013;215(1):35-9.
The global rise of obesity, both adult and childhood, has been paralleled by a rise in type 2 diabetes, a trend predicted to continue for at least the next two decades. The combined effect will create a burden of direct and co-morbidities that will strain the physical and financial resources of all countries. While it is accepted that both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are major risk factors for the development and progression of periodontal disease, there is growing evidence that obesity is both an indirect risk factor because it affects glycaemic control and a direct risk factor because secretion of pro-inflammatory agents by adipose tissue modifies the periodontal reaction to the plaque biofilm. Recent research suggests that periodontitis may adversely affect glycaemic control, which can be improved by periodontal treatment with reduced risk of diabetic co-morbidity, thereby creating a two-way relationship. Furthermore it appears possible that periodontitis may stimulate inflammatory change in adipose tissue, creating a triangular self-generating cycle of morbidity linking obesity, diabetes and periodontal disease. Dentists should recognise these interlinked risk factors and consider including an assessment of glycaemic control and adiposity, possibly by waist-to-hip ratio, when periodontitis is diagnosed and in collaboration with medical practitioners provide treatment to help reduce the development of systemic disease.