Excess Weight Can Lead to Oral Health Issues

Excess weight and obesity can have a serious impact on overall health and oral health as well, so dentists are among the healthcare professionals who can have a conversation with a patient who is affected.

The Obesity Action Coalition, a national nonprofit charity dedicated to helping individuals affected by obesity, has re-launched its consumer Your Weight Matters campaign. The goal of the campaign is to encourage a dialogue between individuals and their healthcare provider about weight and educate about the impact of excess weight on health.

“Millions of Americans are affected by excess weight or obesity, but unfortunately, regular conversations between patients and their healthcare provider about weight rarely occur. This is in despite of the significant health impact of obesity, such as increased risk for type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, some cancers and more,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO.

Individuals interested in learning more about their weight and health can visit YourWeightMatters.org, take the Campaign Challenge pledge to talk to their healthcare provider about their weight and receive a free Your Weight Matters toolkit. The toolkit is designed specifically to help individuals prepare for that first appointment with a healthcare provider. From a food journal and exercise tips to sample questions a healthcare provider may ask an individual, the toolkit provides participants with a resource that they can utilize throughout their weight loss journey.

“Dentists are very cognizant of overall health and how it relates to the treatment they provide,” said Dr. John Fisher, a member of the ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations. “Diseases like diabetes have a deleterious effect on oral health and link directly to obesity.”

Patients can also get more information on diet and dental health at the ADA’s consumer website, MouthHealthy.org.

© 2017 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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