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Obesity and Oral Health

Ira B. Lamster, DDS, MMSc
Saturday, February 8
8:15 am - 9:00 am

There is an epidemic of obesity in the United States and across the globe. It has been estimated that 1 in 4 adults is overweight and 1 in 10 is obese. Obesity is associated with a variety of significant health problems, including an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, and certain malignancies. Obesity has also been linked to a number of changes in the oral cavity. Obesity has been investigated as a risk factor for periodontitis. Obesity is also a cause of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition associated with abnormal pauses in breathing. In the future, dental professionals can have a role in the general management of obesity by identifying patients who are overweight or obese, referring them to a health care provider for comprehensive care, and then becoming involved in the longer-term management of these individuals.