University of Illinois at Chicago
SILVER-THESIS-2021.pdf (1.46 MB)

The Influence of Childhood Obesity on Oral Inflammation

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posted on 2021-08-01, 00:00 authored by Chad M Silver
Hypothesis and Objective: In the United States, approximately one-third of all children are estimated to be overweight or obese. Childhood obesity is argued to have a number of effects on the oral cavity, including poorer oral hygiene and earlier dental development. Current knowledge on the association of periodontal inflammatory environment and childhood obesity is limited. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether obese children have a higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, an indicator of localized oral inflammation, compared to normal weight children. Methods: 20 pediatric patients aged 10-12 years were recruited from University of Illinois-Chicago post-graduate dental clinic. Height and weight was used to determine BMI (>95th percentile: Obese, n=10; 5th-85th percentile: normal, n=10). Gingival crevicular fluid was collected from each subject. Cytokine/chemokine levels (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, CCL2, CCL3, MPO and TNF-α) were measured by multiplex bead assay. Data were analyzed using two-sample T-tests. Results: When cytokine levels were compared across between obese and normal weight subjects, IL8, IL10, CCL2, and CCL3 were statistically significantly higher in obese children compared to non-obese children at α<0.05. A Bonferroni correction for multiple testing yielded a significance cut-off of α<0.006. After correcting for multiple testing, only CCL2 and CCL3 remain statistically significant. Conclusions: Our results suggest that obese children have significantly higher levels of tested pro-inflammatory cytokines compared to normal weight children, indicating that they have markedly higher oral inflammation, which may be related to poor oral hygiene. Further work is needed to correlate increased oral inflammation with oral health outcomes and oral microbiome composition in children.



Nicholas, Christina


Nicholas, Christina


Pediatric Dentistry

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Masters

Degree name

MS, Master of Science

Committee Member

Alrayyes, Sahar Wu, Christine D Naqvi, Afsar

Submitted date

August 2021

Thesis type



  • en

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