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Gum Disease and 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.

 

Nurse measuring tension

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

Systemic impact

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.

"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

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