Sore Gums Interfere With The Treatment Of Hypertension

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Sore Gums Interfere With The Treatment Of Hypertension
Sore Gums Interfere With The Treatment Of Hypertension

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Sore gums interfere with the treatment of hypertension

Medications to lower high blood pressure are more beneficial when the oral health is good. This is consistent with previous research linking mild oral inflammation with blood vessel damage and cardiovascular risk.

Sore gums interfere with the treatment of hypertension
Sore gums interfere with the treatment of hypertension

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Drugs to lower high blood pressure are more beneficial for good oral health, according to a new study published in Hypertension, the journal of the American Heart Association.

The results of the analysis are based on a review of medical and dental examination reports of more than 3,600 people with high blood pressure. The researchers found that with healthy gums, lowering blood pressure with drugs is more effective. In particular, patients with periodontal disease achieved a healthy blood pressure level by 20% less than patients with a healthy oral cavity.

Taking these findings into account, the researchers note that more careful blood pressure control may be required for periodontal disease. Along with this, with diagnosed hypertension or persistently high blood pressure, it makes sense to consult a periodontist.

“Doctors should pay close attention to the oral health of patients, especially those receiving treatment for hypertension, and urge those with signs of periodontal disease to seek dental care. Likewise, dental professionals need to know that oral health is essential to overall physiological health, including cardiovascular status,”said study lead author Davide Pietropaoli, PhD, L'Aquila University (University of L'Aquila) in Italy.

The target blood pressure level for people with hypertension is less than 130/80 mmHg. in accordance with the latest American Heart Association / American College of Cardiology guidelines. In the study, the systolic pressure ("upper", indicates the pressure of blood on the walls of the arteries) in patients with severe periodontitis was on average 3 mm Hg. higher than in good oral health. Seemingly small difference of 3 mmHg. similar to the reduction in blood pressure that can be achieved by reducing salt intake by 6 g (a teaspoon or 2.4 g sodium) per day.

As it turned out in the course of the study, the presence of periodontal disease among people with untreated hypertension further widened the gap - up to 7 mm Hg. The blood pressure lowering drug narrowed it down to 3 mm Hg, but did not completely eliminate it. Therefore, periodontal disease can affect the effectiveness of blood pressure therapy.

“Patients with high blood pressure and the clinicians who care for them should be aware that good oral health can be just as important in managing the condition as certain lifestyle interventions that help control blood pressure, such as a diet low in salt, regular exercise and weight control,”said Pietropaoli.

Although the study was not intended to investigate how periodontal disease interferes with blood pressure treatment, the findings are consistent with previous research linking mild oral inflammation to blood vessel damage and cardiovascular risk.

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