Objective. The association between obesity and periodontitis has been extensively investigated in adults but not in young people. The aim of this study was to examine the association between overweight-obesity and periodontal disease in pediatric subjects.
Methods. Controlled cross-sectional study involving 100 school children of both gender (50 M and 50 F) between 7 and 12 years of age (mean age 9,19±1,57). Two groups were formed based on Body Mass Index value: test group with BMI ≥ 25 Kg/m2 and control group with BMI ≤ 24 Kg/m2. Diet intake and oral hygiene habits were recorded by a specific questionnaire and the periodontal clinical parameters were evaluated.
Results. The periodontal examination in the control group revealed a full-mouth plaque score (FMPS) value equal to 21.86% against 50.08% in the group of patients overweight/obese; the fullmouth bleeding score (FMBS) in the control group amounted to 12.7% against 26.24% of test group. No patient in either group included in the study presented a probing pocket depth (PPD) ≥3, so a significant difference regarding this value was not found. Regarding the frequency and quantity of food consumption, the number of obese patients who did not follow a balanced diet largely exceeded the number of normal-weight patients (70 versus 20%).
Conclusions. These results focus the attention on the negative impact of obesity on gingival health in young subjects, probably due to a combination of metabolic and inflammatory profiles and the result of a careless attitude towards prevention diseases of the oral cavity.