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Bariatric surgery may have negative impact on oral health

By Dental Tribune International
July 15, 2014

SÃO PAULO, Brazil: Bariatric surgery benefits patients who exceed a certain body mass index (BMI). While these procedures may improve systemic conditions in obese patients, they may negatively affect their oral health, a new study from Brazil has found. According to the study, weight loss surgery may increase the incidence of periodontal disease and dental wear.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of São Paulo. They evaluated oral health conditions, such as salivary flow, periodontal pocket depth and dental wear, before and after gastric bypass surgery in 59 patients.

According to the study, BMI and blood glucose levels decreased significantly within six months of the surgery. In addition, levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a protein that is synthesized in the liver and used as a marker for inflammation, decreased. While 67 percent of the patients had high levels of CRP before surgery, there were significant reductions in these levels after surgery.

However, the researchers observed an increase in the prevalence of periodontal pockets. The mean pocket depth increased to about 0.5 mm after the surgery. Moreover, the percentage of surfaces with dental wear in dentin was significantly higher after the surgery.

The study, titled "Impact of Bariatric Surgery on Oral Health Conditions: 6-months Cohort Study," was published in the June issue of the International Dental Journal, the main scientific publication of the FDI World Dental Federation.

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