People with severe gum infection have increased blood pressure: Study

People with severe gum infection have increased blood pressure: Study. According to a study published in Hypertension, the American Heart Association magazine, people, with severe gum disease called periodontitis, are more likely to have high blood pressure than people with healthy gums.

Previous studies have found an association between high blood pressure and periodontitis, however, studies confirming the details of this association are scarce. Periodontitis is an infection of the gum tissue that keeps the teeth in place which can lead to further inflammation, bone or tooth loss.

Prevention and treatment of periodontitis is very expensive and can lead to a reduction in inflammatory system symptoms and improve the functioning of the endothelium (a small membrane that connects the inside of the heart and blood vessels).

Lead study author Eva Munoz Aguilera, DDS, M.Clin.Dent., Senior researcher at UCL Eastman Dental Institute in London , United Kingdom said that the patients with gum disease are more likely to have high blood pressure, especially if there is gingival inflammation or bleeding gums.

“High blood pressure is often low, and most people may not be aware that they are at high risk for heart problems. We aimed to investigate the association between severe periodontitis and high blood pressure in healthy adults without getting a high blood pressure diagnosis,” Aguilera said.

The study included 250 adults with normal, severe periodontitis (50 percent of teeth compared with gum infection) and a control group of 250 adults who did not have severe gum disease, all who were otherwise healthy and had no other chronic health conditions.

People with severe gum infection have increased blood pressure: Study
People with severe gum infection have increased blood pressure: Study

The median age of participants was 35 years and 52.6 percent were women. The study was completed in collaboration with the dental department at the University of the Internacional de Catalunya in Barcelona,   Spain.

All participants underwent a complete periodontal examination including detailed diagnostic tests for gum disease, such as plaque on the mouth filled with gums, bleeding gums, and deep pockets of infected gums.

Blood pressure tests were measured three times for each participant in order to make sure the accuracy. Fasting blood samples are also collected and analyzed for high levels of white blood cells and high sensitivity to active C protein (hsCRP), as both are a sign of increased inflammation in the body.

Additional data analyzed as disturbers include family history of heart disease, age, physical indicator, gender, race, smoking, and physical activity levels.

Researchers have found that the diagnosis of gum disease is associated with higher risk of high blood pressure, independent of the common risk factors for heart disease. People with gum disease were twice as likely to have systolic high pressure values   140 mm Hg, compared to people with healthy gums (14 percent and 7 percent, respectively).

Researchers also found: 1. The presence of the inflammation of the gums (identified by bleeding gums) was also associated with high systolic blood pressure. Participants with periodontitis had showed an increase in glucose, LDL (“bad” cholesterol), hsCRP and also the white blood cell levels, and lower levels of HDL (“good” cholesterol) compared to those in the control group.3. About 50 percent of the participants with gum disease and 42 percent of the control group had high blood pressure diagnostic values, defined as 130/80 mmHg.

Francesco D’Aiuto, DMD, M.Clin.Dent., Ph. D. , professor of periodontology and head of the periodontology department at UCL Eastman Dental Institute said that this evidence suggests that periodontal bacteria cause damage to the gums and also cause inflammatory responses that may contribute to the development of systemic diseases including high blood pressure.

D’Aiuto went on and said that this could mean that the link between gum disease and high blood pressure occurs well before the patient has high blood pressure. Our research also confirms that a high number of people are unaware that they may be diagnosed with AIDS.

D’Aiuto added saying that the combination of high blood pressure tests by dentists referred to primary care specialists and periodic diagnostic tests by paramedics can improve the diagnosis and treatment of both conditions to improve oral health and reduce high blood pressure and oral health problems such as toothpaste. twice daily proves to be very effective in the management and prevention of the most common oral conditions, and the results of our research suggest that it can be a powerful and inexpensive tool to help prevent high blood pressure.

This study did not look at other factors that can affect blood pressure, such as obesity, salt intake, anti-inflammatory drugs, hormone therapy or depression, or other oral health conditions.

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