The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and oral health status in Korean adults.


We used the Fifth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to investigate the association between BMI and oral health status. Subjects who were measured for weight and height and had an oral examination in 2010 and 2012 were included (n = 11 466). Using multiple logistic regression analyses adjusted for gender, age, educational level, household income, smoking, frequency of tooth brushing and history of diabetes mellitus, the risk of dental caries and periodontitis was estimated in association with BMI.


In the study population, 90.4% had more than one decayed, missing and filled tooth (DMFT) for permanent tooth, and 23.4% had a community periodontal index score (CPI) of 3 or 4. Distribution of underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese was 4.8, 40.5, 22.4 and 32.2%, respectively. Decayed, missing and filled tooth was highest in the normal weight group, and CPI was significantly highest in the obese group. In the overweight and obese groups, the odds ratios for periodontitis (CPI ≥ 3) were 1.18 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.01–1.37] before and 1.27 (95% CI, 1.10–1.48) after adjustment for confounding factors. However, the risk for dental caries (DMFT ≥ 1) was not significantly associated with BMI.


Body mass index was related to periodontitis, but not to dental caries, suggesting that obesity is a risk factor for periodontitis.

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