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Association between body weight and periodontal infection


  • Conflict of interest and source of funding statement
    The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.
    The present study is part of the Health 2000 Health Examination Survey, organized by the National Public Health Institute (KTL) of Finland (, and partly supported by the Finnish Dental Society Apollonia and the Finnish Dental Association. Personal grants to Pekka Ylöstalo by the Finnish Dental Society are acknowledged.

Pekka Ylöstalo
Institute of Dentistry
University of Oulu
Box 5281
90014 Oulu


Background: Besides being a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers and type II diabetes, obesity has been suggested to be a risk factor for periodontitis. A number of epidemiological studies have studied the association between obesity and periodontitis, but the results have been partly inconclusive. The aim of this study was to examine the association of body weight with periodontal infection.

Material and Methods: The association between body weight and periodontal infection was examined using a nationally representative Health 2000 Health Examination Survey. The study was based on a subpopulation of dentate non-diabetic subjects aged 30–49 (n=2841). Periodontal infection was measured by the number of teeth with periodontal pockets of 4 mm or deeper and 6 mm or deeper. Body weight was measured using body mass index (BMI).

Results: We detected a weak exposure–response association of BMI with teeth with deepened periodontal pockets after controlling for smoking habits by restricting the sample to subjects who have never smoked and for other potential confounders by including them in the multivariate models.

Conclusions: The results showed an association between body weight and periodontal infection among the non-diabetic, non-smoking population aged 30–49. Additional research is needed to determine the nature of this association.