Date of Award

Fall 2017

Document Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Hygiene

Committee Director

Lynn Tolle

Committee Member

Tara Newcomb


Obesity has been targeted as the sixth most significant risk factor worldwide that is known to contribute to both oral and other associated systemic diseases.2 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of obesity among adults in the U.S. is 40% and 18.5% in youth with prevalence higher among middle aged adults (42.8%) than younger adults (35.7%).3 As of 2016, nearly two billion people worldwide were either overweight or obese.1 Research indicates accumulated excessive fat from being overweight or obese contributes to serious health impairments.4 World-wide obesity is associated with increased risk for chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers.5,6 Increasing concerns regarding obesity-related health implications include adverse consequences on oral health, in particular periodontal disease. Systemic risk factors largely influence host susceptibility to periodontal disease, and research suggests obesity may be a risk factor.


A Non-Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Old Dominion University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE DENTAL HYGIENE