Early detection key to survival

  • Published 2009 in BDJ


ble link between saliva and obesity. In a recent study, scientists have found that the composition of salivary bacteria changes in overweight women and could serve as biological indicators of a developing overweight condition. The team from The Forsyth Institute, Boston, USA and Piracicaba Dental School, State University of Campinas, Brazil, measured salivary bacterial populations of overweight women. Saliva was collected from 313 women with a body mass index between 27 and 32, and bacterial populations were measured by DNA probe analysis. Levels in this group were compared with data from a population of 232 healthy individuals from periodontal disease studies. The median percentage difference of seven of the 40 bacterial species measured was greater than 2% in the saliva of overweight women. Classifi cation tree analysis of salivary microbiological composition revealed that 98.4% of the overweight women could be identifi ed by the presence of a single bacterial species (Selenomonas noxia) at levels greater than 1.05% of the total salivary bacteria. Analysis of these data suggests that the composition of salivary bacteria changes in overweight women. The team hopes that as well as the bacterial species indicating obesity, future research could look at the possibility that oral bacteria may participate in the pathology that leads to obesity. Commenting on the fi ndings, UK oral health charity the British Dental Health Foundation has reminded the public of the importance of good dental hygiene. Its chief executive Dr Nigel Carter said, ‘Though this information represents very early stages of research it is another fascinating example of the potential overall health links related to our oral health. It is uncertain whether people may become obese due to changes in the bacteria in their mouths or whether these changes occur as a result of obesity. What impact changing the bacterial make up may have on helping to reduce obesity is certainly worth additional research.’ The research study, ‘Is obesity an oral bacterial disease?’ was published in the June issue of the Journal of Dental Research, the journal of the International and American Associations for Dental Research (Goodson J M, Groppo D, Halem S, Carpino E. Is obesity an oral bacterial disease? J Dent Res 2009; 88: 519-523). SALIVA MAY BE ABLE TO INDICATE OBESITY

DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2009.620
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@article{2009EarlyDK, title={Early detection key to survival}, author={}, journal={BDJ}, year={2009}, volume={207}, pages={56-56} }