Association between metabolic syndrome and gingival inflammation in obese children

Int J Dent Hyg. 2018 Aug;16(3):397-403. doi: 10.1111/idh.12322. Epub 2017 Nov 10.


Background and objective: Our previous work showed a positive association between metabolic syndrome (MetS) and gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) in a sample of obese and non-obese children. However, whether this association persists among obese children is unknown. We aim to investigate the extent to which MetS is associated with GCF TNF-α level among obese children.

Methodology: We performed a cross-sectional analysis using data from visit 1 of the QUebec Adipose and Lifestyle InvesTigation in Youth cohort. A total of 219 obese children aged 8-10 years, for whom data were available for both MetS and TNF-α, were included in our analysis. The independent variable, MetS, was defined according to the International Diabetes Federation recommendations. GCF samples were collected from the gingival sulcus using a paper strip, and the concentration of TNF-α was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Analyses included descriptive statistics and sex-specific linear regression analyses adjusting for potential confounders.

Results: In this sample comprising only obese children, 24 (10.9%) had MetS. Among obese boys, those with MetS had 44.9% higher GCF TNF-α (95% confidence interval: 16.5%-73.3%) compared to those without MetS. No such association was detected in obese girls.

Conclusion: MetS was positively associated with GCF TNF-α concentration in obese boys. These results suggest that obese boys with MetS may have a worse gingival health profile compared to their obese counterpart without MetS.

Keywords: children; metabolic syndrome; tumour necrosis factor-alpha.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Female
  • Gingival Crevicular Fluid / chemistry*
  • Gingivitis / complications*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications*
  • Pediatric Obesity / complications*
  • Sex Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis*


  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha