Gum diseases have been directly linked to high blood pressure and you may not even be aware of it. Read all about it and take preemptive measures.
- Studies suggest that people with gum disease experience elevated blood pressure, especially while experiencing active gum inflammation or bleeding.
- Periodontal bacteria play a crucial role in elevating blood pressure.
- People with gum diseases are twice as likely to have systolic blood pressure levels.
- Maintaining oral hygiene and consulting a dentist regularly are suggested to stay on top of any gum-related risks.
High blood pressure and gum disease are two health conditions that are commonly seen in many individuals. HBP, sometimes referred to as “hypertension,” is a condition where the blood’s constant pressure against the artery walls is too great, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
On the other hand, gum disease occurs when the gums become irritated and infected as a result of plaque and tartar accumulation.
Research has presented that there is a linkage between these two conditions. People with bad gum may experience elevated blood pressure, particularly when experiencing active gum inflammation or bleeding.
Connection Between High Blood Pressure And Gum Disease
Hypertension, often known as high blood pressure, is a serious medical concern. It happens when the blood pressure in your arteries is regularly greater than normal.
This increases the strain on your heart, which can contribute to various issues such as heart disease and stroke if left untreated. It can also lead to kidney damage and other complications over time.
On the other hand, Periodontitis is an inflammatory condition affecting the gums and supporting tissue of teeth. It causes irritation to the gums, loss of bone around the root, and loosening of teeth if left untreated.
It is generally because of a bacterial infection that can occur due to poor oral hygiene, such as inadequate brushing and flossing. Symptoms include tooth pain, swollen or red gums, bleeding when brushing or flossing, bad breath, receding gum lines, or loose-fitting dentures.
Breakthrough research has revealed that periodontal bacteria may be the hidden cause behind your elevated blood pressure.
Severe Periodontitis was found to majorly trigger inflammatory responses, which could lead to systemic illnesses such as hypertension.
These findings underscore how important it is for individuals of all ages and backgrounds to maintain good oral hygiene practices.
People living with infected gum are at higher risk of hypertension, as the study reveals individuals suffering from the condition are twice as likely to have systolic blood pressure levels over 140 mm Hg than those without.
This is concerning because it suggests up to half the adult population could unknowingly suffer from high-level hypertension directly or indirectly related to an infection. This can cause significant damage beyond tooth and bone loss, such as inflammation.
Combating gum disease may effectively lower the systemic inflammation responsible for issues in our hearts and blood vessels. We could improve endothelial function by treating this common dental condition – all while saving money!
Overview Of High Blood Pressure
HBP is an often silent but severe health problem. It occurs when the force of your blood thrusting against the walls of your arteries is too high.
The leading causes are obesity, smoking, and excessive alcohol use; however, it can also be caused by genetics, chronic stress, or certain medications or medical conditions.
Symptoms of hypertension usually do not appear until levels become severe enough to cause visible damage to organs; however, in some cases, there may be headaches, nosebleeds, and vision changes in extreme cases.
Diagnosis is made through a physical exam, urine, and blood tests to measure levels.
Treatment involves medication to control cholesterol levels and lower heart rate, combined with lifestyle modifications such as increasing physical activity and dietary changes like reducing sodium intake.
Finally, reducing stress and quitting smoking are necessary steps in controlling hypertension for any patient.
Overview Of Gum Disease
Gum disease (Periodontitis) is an inflammatory condition that affects the soft and hard structures around the teeth.
Common causes are poor oral hygiene, smoking, certain medications, and diseases such as diabetes.
Symptoms may include red or swollen gums, bleeding after brushing or flossing, persistent bad breath, and loose teeth. A dental professional will diagnose Periodontitis through a clinical exam which may include X-rays to measure bone levels and determine how best to treat it.
Treatment usually involves scaling and root planing (a deep cleaning), followed by good home care with proper tooth brushing, daily flossing, and regular professional cleanings. In more advanced cases of this disease, surgery may be needed to restore health to your mouth.
Prevention And Management Of High Blood Pressure And Gum Disease
Prevention and management of HBP and gum disease can be approached through a combination of the following methods:
- Healthy Diet: A diet heavy in vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and lean protein and low in sodium, saturated fat, and added sweets will help lower blood pressure. Natural blood pressure supplements are also very handy in maintaining a standard blood pressure.
- Stress Management: Chronic stress can lead to elevated blood pressure levels, so it is essential to come up with restorative ways to manage stress, such as meditation, exercise, or hobbies.
- Avoiding Tobacco: Smoking and secondhand smoke exposure can raise blood pressure and impair gum health.
- Physical Activity: Physical activity every day, such as brisk walking, can lower blood pressure and improve overall health.
Regular dental checkups and cleanings
- Early Detection: Regular dental checkups can help detect gun disorder early on, making it easier to treat.
- Professional Cleanings: Dental cleanings can remove plaque and tartar buildup, which can contribute to Periodontitis and increase the risk of other oral health problems.
- Monitoring: Regular dental checkups can also help monitor gum disease progression and assess treatment effectiveness. Regularly monitoring blood pressure also plays a crucial role in keeping hypertension at bay.
- High Blood Pressure: Medications for HBP include angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), calcium channel blockers, diuretics, and beta blockers.
- Gum Disease: Medications may include antibiotics, antiseptic mouth rinses, and topical medications that are applied directly to the gums.
Home care techniques
- Brushing: Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste can help remove plaque and prevent your gum from going bad.
- Flossing: Flossing daily can remove plaque and food particles from between teeth, which a toothbrush cannot reach.
- Mouthwash: An antiseptic mouthwash can help kill bacteria and freshen your breath.
- Healthy Habits: Maintaining healthy habits, such as avoiding tobacco products and excessive alcohol consumption, can help prevent Periodontitis and improve oral health.
High blood pressure and gum disease are interrelated, with one impacting the other. Ignoring either could result in a domino effect of severe health complications.
To avoid this outcome, preventive measures should be taken – such as adjusting lifestyle habits; visiting the dentist on schedule to receive checkups/cleaning treatments; adhering to medication prescriptions strictly; and caring for oral hygiene regularly at home to reduce risk levels while maintaining overall well-being.
Hypertension Journal Report. “People with severe gum disease may be twice as likely to have increased blood pressure.” Published on March 29, 2021 https://newsroom.heart.org/news/people-with-severe-gum-disease-may-be-twice-as-likely-to-have-increased-blood-pressure
Kitts, Eric. “Can Gum Disease Cause High Blood Pressure?” Published on Nov 25, 2021. https://soundviewfamilydental.com/blog/can-gum-disease-cause-high-blood-pressure/