11 Dec Periodontitis and Hypertension (HBP)
Gum Disease Linked to High Blood Pressure
People suffering from severe gum infection (periodontitis) have a greater likelihood of high blood pressure according to a new study from the UK.
A team from Eastman Dental Institute published evidence1 in Cardiovascular Research which examines a possible relationship between high blood pressure and moderate and severe gum disease.
The meta-analysis analysed a total of 81 studies, from 26 countries, and suggested that moderate periodontal disease was associated with 22% increased risk of hypertension, while severe periodontitis was linked to a 49% increased risk2.
The purpose of gum disease treatment is to stop or slow down the progression of infection. Whilst the main benefits include having a healthy mouth and better chances at keeping teeth for life, it is becoming more evident that we can include eliminating a possible risk factor in cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other systemic diseases to the list.
Periodontal disease treatment consists of regular removal of plaque and calculus, replacement and polishing of some fillings and root planning of deeper pockets. In addition, instructions on how to improve oral hygiene are given, as this is crucial in stopping disease progression. The most obvious sign of effective treatment is when your gums stop bleeding.
As more connections appear linking periodontal disease to systemic conditions like cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and heart attacks it is not surprising that the UN adopted a declaration on Universal Health Coverage (UHC):
“Oral health is one of the most neglected areas of global health, so we applaud world leaders for this breakthrough commitment that gives teeth to the UN Political Declaration. It is now vital that the Declaration be converted into concrete, sustainable action at the national level3.”
At Boroondara Family Dentist we check the condition of your gums every 6 months and develop suitable treatments if necessary, to ensure you get all the benefits from having healthy teeth and gums!
2. Gum disease linked with higher risk of hypertension (2019). Retrieved from https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2019/sep/gum-disease-linked-higher-risk-hypertension