Oral health & High Blood Pressure

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Poor oral health can affect high blood pressure condition

If you have poor oral health and hypertension, watch out. Latest medical research indicates that poor oral health can get in the way of blood pressure control and affect hypertension treatment. Tooth damage, gum inflation, and gum infection—symptoms of below-par oral health and periodontal disease—can potentially interfere with blood pressure treatment and also worsen blood pressure.

The study emphasizes the link between good oral health and blood pressure control and how it can prevent adverse cardiovascular effects originating due to untreated hypertension. According to the study published in the American Heart Association’s journal, patients with good oral health are more likely to benefit from planned medication for high blood pressure, reported Science Daily.

Oral Health-Hypertension Study

The findings of the study were based on the review of dental and medical exam records of over 3,600 people diagnosed with high blood pressure. It was found that patients with better-condition gums have lower blood pressure. They also reacted better to medications to lower blood pressure compared to individuals with gum disease or periodontitis. People who had gum disease were 20 percent less likely to attain the optimum range of blood pressure compared with patients with good oral health.

In light of the findings, researchers say patients having periodontal disease may be advised to observe their blood pressure, and those with persistent high blood pressure should consult a dentist.

“Physicians should pay close attention to patients’ oral health, particularly those receiving treatment for hypertension, and urge those with signs of periodontal disease to seek dental care,” said Dr. Davide Pietropaoli, the study’s lead investigator and a professor at the University of L’Aquila in Italy, reported Science Daily.

“Likewise, dental health professionals should be aware that oral health is indispensable to overall physiological health, including cardiovascular status,” said Dr. Pietropaoli.

Patients with periodontal disease should be aware that the recommended blood pressure range for patients diagnosed with hypertension is 130/80 mmHg, as per the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

Finding The Link Between Periodontitis And Blood Pressure

However, in the study, patients with advanced periodontitis had systolic pressure—the upper number in a blood pressure reading and indicative of the pressure of blood against the walls of the arteries—that was, on average, 3 mmHg higher compared to those with good oral health.

The difference of 3mmHg may be small but is equal to the lowering of blood pressure achieved by cutting salt intake by 6 grams or a tablespoon daily, said the researchers.

The study found that periodontal disease increased the gap further by up to 7 mmHg in a patient with untreated hypertension. While blood-pressure medication reduced the gap by 3 mmHg, it did not eliminate it: indicating that periodontal disease may inhibit the success of blood pressure treatment.

“Patients with high blood pressure and the clinicians who care for them should be aware that good oral health may be just as important in controlling the condition as are several lifestyle interventions known to help control blood pressure, such as a low-salt diet, regular exercise and weight control,” said Pietropaoli.

Researchers are yet to ascertain exactly how periodontal disease interferes with blood pressure therapy. However, they suggest that their findings are similar to previous research that links nominal oral inflammation with damage to the blood vessel and heightened risk to cardiovascular health.

 

 

 

 

 

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