Gum Disease Treatment May Lower the Risk for Hypertension

Gum Disease Treatment May Lower the Risk for Hypertension

As a dentist at NW 23rd St. in Oklahoma City, our staff at Shepherd Mall Family Dentistry strive to protect the oral health of our entire community. In addition to providing exceptional dental care and advising on the best practices for protecting your oral health at home, our goal is to help keep our patients smiling brightly for a lifetime.

A great smile isn’t only an indication of healthy teeth and gums it can also help to lower your risk for a number of health problems. In fact, aggressively treating gum disease may help to lower the blood pressure of individuals at risk of hypertension, according to a new study.

A Surprising Connection

The study, which was recently presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, involved 107 Chinese men and women 18 and older who suffered from pre-hypertension, a condition where blood pressure levels sit just below the level considered for high blood pressure. The study participants also suffered from moderate to severe gum disease.

Half of those involved in the study received intensive treatment for gum disease while the other half received a standard level of care.

For this study, standard treatment included basic instruction on the best oral hygiene practices and a thorough teeth cleaning that removed plaque deposits that had accumulated above the gum line. Intensive treatment included both the standard level of care plus a more thorough cleaning that moved past the gum line and down to the roots of a patient’s teeth, as well as antibiotic treatment and tooth removal, if necessary.

At 30 days following their treatment for gum disease, the study participants systolic blood pressure – the top number reading – was three points lower in the intensive treatment group when compared to the standard treatment group. There was no difference in diastolic blood pressure – the bottom number – said researchers.

At 90 days following their treatment, systolic blood pressure readings were almost eight points lower and diastolic pressure was almost four point lower in the intensive treatment gr0up. At six months following treatment, systolic blood pressure readings were almost 13 points lower and diastolic blood pressure was nearly 10 points lower in the intensive group.

“The present study demonstrates for the first time that intensive periodontal intervention alone can reduce blood pressure levels, inhibit inflammation and improve endothelial function,” reported the study’s lead author, Dr. Jun Tao. Dr. Tao serves as the head of First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University’s Department of Hypertension and Vascular Disease.

Answers Needed

Roughly one out of three adults in the U.S. – almost 75 million people – suffer from high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. High blood pressure ranks as a major risk factor for both stroke and heart attack. Only about half of patients suffering from hypertension have their high blood pressure under control. High blood pressure was a primary or contributing cause of death for more than 400,000 Americans each year.

Considering the high risk that individuals suffering from hypertension have of suffering a range of health problems, it’s important to note the role oral health can have in help to lower the risk for this life-threatening disease.

As a dentist at NW 23rd St. in Oklahoma City, our staff at Shepherd Mall Family Dentistry, our team Shepherd Mall Family Dentistry will work to help keep the oral health of our patients at their very best. This can not only help keep you smiling your best, it may also make a huge difference determining your heath now and into the future.

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