A scientific study carried out at New York Medical College believes to have found a correlation between gum disease and obesity.

As explained by NYMC professor of medicine and pharmacology Nader G. Abraham, PhD, DrHC, DrHC, this is the first time that confirmation was discovered that the bacteria in our mouths can affect our fat cells.

Researchers have found that fat tissue may have an inflammatory response when under attack by germs (and sometimes even when no infection is present). In obese people, this inflammation can result in type 2 diabetes. The researchers at NYMC performed their study on mice, giving them Porphyromonas gingivalis, a form of bacterium connected with periodontal disease, and measured the tissue inflammation. They discovered that the bacteria had an impact on the functionality of the fat cells of the mice.

In addition, the investigation also found that an extract of the kava plant known as Kavain had the potential to counteract inflammation in obese individuals. Salomon Amar, DDS, PhD of NYMC proposed that good oral hygiene should be used in addition to the anti-inflammatory properties of Kavain to help reduce the negative health effects of obesity.

Abraham pointed out the widely known link between oral health and heart ailments and advised that the connection with obesity is another justification for why everyone should make certain to brush and floss their teeth on a regular basis, in addition to scheduling regular exams and cleanings.