Aug 13, 2021 - minute readminutes read

Is Gum Disease tied to Hypertension?

Hypertension is a chronic medical condition characterized by high blood pressure which is associated with heart disease. Studies link periodontal disease to hypertension, making the health screening of dental patients crucial.

 

Content

According to the World Health Organization, hypertension affects about 30% of the global adult population and is a contributing factor to premature death and disability. 

Hypertension is a chronic medical condition characterized by high blood pressure which is associated with heart disease. Studies link periodontal disease to hypertension, making the health screening of dental patients crucial.

Hypertension facts

  • Hypertension, diabetes and cigarette smoking are considered to be traditional risk factors for heart disease
  • At the same time, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease have been associated with periodontal disease
  • Hypertension is defined when a patient has an elevated systolic blood pressure greater than 140 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure greater than 90 mmHg
  • Prehypertension is defined when a patient has systolic blood pressure ranging between 120 mmHg and 139 mmHg, and/or diastolic blood pressure of 80 mmHg to 89 mmHg

What is gum disease?

As described on the European Federation of Periodontology website, gum diseases (gingivitis and periodontitis) are very common and affect most people at some point during their lives.

The body reacts to bacteria that build up in the mouth and triggers inflammation. 

If left untreated, gum disease can lead to the loss of teeth, but can also increase the risk of developing serious conditions including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and cerebrovascular disease.

Systemic impact of hypertension and gum disease

How to avoid heart disease by maintaining good oral care

Educating patients about strong habits and routines is very important. A simple oral care routine based on 3 easy steps (cleaning between teeth, brushing and rinsing), can help prevent the appearance of gum diseases and can limit the damage that they cause if they do appear.

Regular visits to the dentist can also help prevent gum issues or treat them in time.

Informing patients on the role of oral health in conjunction with overall health is very important as well. This will allow drawing correlations between these and gum disease.

  • Unhealthy or unbalanced diet
  • Smoking
  • Excessive stress
  • Diabetes or cancer

What can dental professionals do?

There is mounting evidence (through animal and population-based studies) that point to periodontal diseases being linked with systemic diseases which needs to be better understood by dental and medical professionals in order to advance patient care.

  • The level of serum high-sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP), an acute-phase reactant that has been reported to predict the outcome of heart disease, was found to be more prevalent in patients with periodontitis than in control subjects, and it decreased significantly after periodontal treatment.

  • It should be explained to patients with prehypertension that their periodontal disease should be treated with urgency in order to avoid a further impact on systemic health
  • Weight loss is a valuable treatment goal in hypertensive patients. Therefore healthy eating and exercise regimes should be encouraged with a view to improving hypertension

"Oral health care providers can become advocates for healthy living, including diet management and limiting sugar intake. These new responsibilities fit well with our understanding of the etiology of dental disease."

Professor Ira Lamster, Editor of the International Dental Journal

 

 

#Hypertension #Mouth and Body Connection

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