Studies show there may be an association between periodontitis (gum disease) and hypertension. Could your high blood pressure be caused by gum disease? Read on to learn more about the connection between periodontitis and high blood pressure, and how your oral health may be affecting your overall health.
Dental professionals have long emphasized the connection between oral health and overall health, and there have been many scientific studies that indicate a connection between a healthy mouth and a healthy body. When it comes to periodontitis (gum disease), this connection appears to hold true. In a review of 81 studies, including more than 250,000 people, researchers found that people who had moderate to severe gum disease (periodontitis) had a 22% increased risk for high blood pressure, and those with severe gum disease had a 49% higher risk.
Researchers in the study review found that when the gums are infected, the disease can spread to other parts of the body causing systemic inflammation, which can harm blood. Researcher Dr. Francesco D’Aiuto, head of the periodontology unit at University College London’s Eastman Dental Institute, noted “Bad brushing and bacteria accumulation around teeth causes gum bleeding and disease, but also could raise body inflammation and cause blood vessel damage.”
In several studies analyzed by the researchers, the patient’s blood pressure dropped when their periodontitis was treated. The researchers found that blood pressure also dropped in patients treated for gum disease who didn’t have hypertension. The authors stopped short of concluding a cause-and-effect link, but did establish the finding that the more severe periodontitis is, the higher the probability of hypertension. “Every dentist should inform their patients of the potential link and the risk of developing high blood pressure,” lead author D’Aiuto said.
Periodontitis is a serious condition, but regular dental visits can treat or prevent gum disease entirely. At La Mesa Hills Dentistry, Dr. Paul Fjeldsted and his staff can assist you in the treatment and prevention of periodontitis. At La Mesa Hills Dentistry, patients value Dr. Fjeldsted’s gentle manner and professional approach, and the office’s clean, comfortable, peaceful environment. Call 619-469-2902 or visit www.lamesahillsdentistry.com to learn more about LMHD, Dr. Fjeldsted, and the general and cosmetic dentistry services offered. Click here to book an appointment with La Mesa Hills Dentistry today!