Last Updated on April 3, 2023 by Dr Gustavo Assatourians DDS
Oral health is closely associated with general health and wellness, thus monitoring gum diseases and high blood pressure is truly important. Looking after your teeth and gums is as important as taking care of your general health. Periodontitis and gingivitis constitute a group of chronic inflammatory diseases, which involve the accumulation of plaque and inflammation in soft tissue and bone surrounding the tooth structure.
Blood pressure is the force with which blood travels inside the blood vessels. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is one of the most common cardiovascular disorder types. Because of the narrow diameter of the blood vessels, too much force or pressure can cause damage leading to complications such as stroke or heart problems.
Correlation of Gum Diseases and High Blood Pressure
It is well-known that hypertension and gingival problems share common risk factors such as smoking, stress, increasing age, and socioeconomic factors. In the beginning, bacteria and their products cause gums to become red, swollen and even bleed. In severe cases, your gums might recede away from your teeth, causing you to weaken the support of teeth and eventually fall out. Several studies have reported a connection between the increased incidence of high blood pressure individuals and diseases of gums and periodontium, affecting 32% of the adult population in the United States, according to CDC.
Ongoing research has yet to provide sufficient evidence directly linking the two diseases. Researchers believe that the potential connection between gum diseases and high blood pressure can be explained by the fact that oral bacterial infections can cause inflammation in the gingival tissues leading to the spread of infection to other parts of the body, causing systemic inflammation and increased vascular pressure.
Growing evidence suggests an association between gum diseases and the thickening of the blood vessels, which makes it difficult for sufficient blood to reach other body parts and back to the heart hence cardiovascular disorders.
Gum diseases and complications with hypertension treatment
Another possible connection between gum diseases and hypertension can be explained by the fact that the presence of gum diseases and periodontitis interfere with the mechanisms of hypertension medication. Studies have reported that individuals with healthy oral cavities are more likely to benefit from hypertension medication. Patients already diagnosed with gum diseases were 20% less likely to achieve desired blood pressure ranges with antihypertensive drugs.
How to prevent gum diseases and high blood pressure
It’s said, an ounce of prevention is better than a cure. Our dentists at Channel Islands Family Dental Office always encourage our patients to be disciplined with their routine check-ups and follow-ups. Several dental health problems can be prevented with early diagnosis and proper care.
- Early detection of gum diseases: The presence of bad breath, bleeding gums, or oral sores in the mouth could be signs of a more serious underlying condition. Your dentist is usually one of the first people to recognize changes in your mouth and detect something wrong with your health. Make sure you visit your dentist for regular checkups.
- Maintaining oral hygiene: Brushing and flossing every day prevents several oral health issues. It helps to remove built-up particles, thus preventing the infection of gums. Our dentists in Oxnard recommend a soft-bristled toothbrush with a flexible neck that can easily move across and can reach all the areas of the oral cavity.
- Healthy eating: A balanced diet with regular exercise helps maintain good heart and oral health. Consumption of chewy, sugary, and fried foods not only harms the teeth and gum health but is also the leading cause of the occurrence of hypertension and other cardio-metabolic disorders.
- Quit smoking: Smoking is considered an important risk factor for the development of oral health, and cardiovascular, and lung diseases. Tobacco causes the narrowing of blood vessels, forcing the heart to pump faster, leading to high blood pressure.
- Dental and medical history: It is always imperative to share your medical and dental history with your dentist for proper in and outpatient care.
If you have any questions about this or other topics, you can Contact Us at Channel Islands Family Dental and on our Facebook Page. We look forward to your visit and will give you a timely diagnosis. Our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, Ventura, and Port Hueneme will be able to guide you toward the best treatment to take care of your health and return your best smile