Did you know that your oral health may be significant when it comes to high blood pressure?
A study published in Hypertension, the journal of the American Heart Association, reported medical and dental analysis results from nearly 12,000 individuals, 3,600 of whom were taking medicine for high blood pressure. The study showed that the patients with severe gum disease were 20% less likely to reach a healthy pressure range. And blood pressure was worse in all patients with severe gum disease.
According to the American Heart Association, target blood pressure for people with hypertension is 130/80 mmHg. Individuals with gum disease had a 2.3- 3mmHg higher systolic blood pressure than the individuals without gum disease. Among those with untreated hypertension, the systolic pressure was up to 7mmHg higher.
The study’s lead investigator, Dr. Davide Pietropaoli, doctor of dental surgery at the University of L’Aquila in Italy, concludes that “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.”
Gum disease starts as gingivitis. In its most severe form it’s known as periodontal disease or periodontitis, a serious infection caused when there’s major bacteria and plaque buildup around the tooth. If left untreated, you can lose teeth. But proper dental treatment can usually prevent more damage.
If you notice signs of gum disease (painful chewing; receding gums; tender, bright red, purplish or bleeding gums) contact your dental specialist as soon as possible. We can successfully treat your periodontitis with non-surgical LANAP® laser treatment.