The August 2010 Journal of Periodontology* reports on a study by Japan's Kyushu University that showed how people with healthy weights and high fitness levels seem to have fewer cases of severe periodontitis (gum disease).
In the paper's abstract, doctors wrote that after studying 1,160 Japanese people ages 20 to 77, it looks as if being overweight or in poor physical shape may hurt gum health the same way it can damage the heart or make diabetes worse. On the plus side, the doctors think that getting, and staying, in good shape can help teeth and gums over the long term.
Periodontitis destroys the gum tissue and bone around the teeth and is a major cause of adult tooth loss. Because other studies have connected gum disease with heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, this gives even more strength to the argument that staying healthy means taking care of your whole body.
*Periodontology = the treatment of gums and gum disease.
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