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high blood pressure and gum disease

Studies Show Greater Risks in Patients with Unhealthy Gums

Advanced gum disease and high blood pressure are related. That may or may not come as a surprise to you.

But it’s a fact that medical professionals have known about the link between oral health and overall good health for some time.

According to Medical News Today, the journal Cardiovascular Research reported that people with severe gum disease are at higher risk for high blood pressure (hypertension). Furthermore, the more advanced the condition of unhealthy gums is, the greater the hypertension risk. High blood pressure can lead to heart attack and stroke in patients with gum disease.

Statistics from the Study

The study cited in Medical News Today found the following:

  • Patients with moderate-to-severe gum disease had a 22 percent greater risk of high blood pressure
  • Patients with periodontis had a 49 percent greater risk of hypertension

Results were inconclusive as to whether treating unhealthy gums would decrease the risk of hypertension.

Why Are Oral Health and Heart Conditions Related?

Researchers believe that various factors could be linking cardiovascular and oral health. One significant factor may be inflammation. Unhealthy gums could be causing inflammation, which would then as a result cause elevated blood pressure.

Other possible underlying causes could be genetic factors or environmental, such as obesity or smoking.

One researcher, Professor Francesco D’Aiuto, even suggested that perhaps patients with hypertension are more likely to develop gum problems.

More studies are necessary to determine underlying causes. However, these are currently disconcerting medical issues in the U.S. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports the following statistics:

  • 47.2% of people who are 30 and older have some form of gum disease
  • 32% of all adults have hypertension

Are You Concerned about Your Gums?

Make an appointment with one of our dentists at Hutto Hippo Family Dental. We can discuss treatment and help you with your dental care concerns.

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