Adults suffering from gum disease are TWICE times more likely to have high blood pressure, the study warns
- Researchers at UCL looked at the link between gum disease and blood pressure
- Found people with periodontal disease are 2.3 times more likely to have hypertension
- In the study, 14% of people with periodontal disease had medically high blood pressure
- This figure is halved for people with good oral health. study shows
People with severe gum disease are twice as likely to have high blood pressure, according to a new study.
A study of 250 people with periodontal disease – serious gum disease – found that people with the condition are 2.3 times more likely to have systolic blood pressure higher than 140 mm Hg, the medical threshold for hypertension.
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that often causes bleeding and can lead to loss of teeth or bones.
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Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that often causes bleeding and can lead to loss of teeth or bones. Patients are up to 2.3 times more likely to have high blood pressure (stock)
Researchers at University College London studied both systolic and diastolic blood pressure – how much force the blood has when the heart contracts and relaxes, respectively.
Both readings are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and people with gum disease have an average of 3.36 mm Hg higher systolic pressure.
Their diastolic blood pressure is also increased by 2.16 mm Hg compared to those in impeccable dental health.
Among orally healthy people, only 7 percent of people had a systolic blood pressure of more than 140 mm Hg.
This figure doubles to 14 percent among people with gum disease.
Researchers at University College London studied both systolic and diastolic blood pressure – how much force the blood has when the heart contracts and relaxes, respectively. Of the healthy people, only seven percent had a systolic blood pressure of more than 140 mm Hg. This figure doubles to 14 percent among people with gum disease (stock)
Covid-19 can infect cells in the MOUTH and cause loss of taste, dry mouth and blistering
SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, infects saliva and cells in the mouth, a new study shows.
American researchers have found evidence that salivary glands are an area of the mouth where the deadly virus infects our cells.
SARS-CoV-2 infection in the mouth explains the oral symptoms that people with Covid-19 have experienced, such as loss of taste, dry mouth and blistering, they believe.
The mouth may also play a role in transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to the lungs or digestive system through saliva-laden with virus from infected oral cells, the experts believe.
Previous evidence has suggested that Covid-19 spreads through mouth and nose secretions, including saliva, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Lead author of the study, Dr. Eva Muñoz Aguilera, senior researcher at UCL Eastman Dental Institute in London, said: “Patients with gum disease often have elevated blood pressure, especially if there is active gum disease or bleeding gums.
Elevated blood pressure is usually asymptomatic and many people may not be aware that they are at an increased risk of cardiovascular complications.
“We wanted to investigate the link between severe periodontal disease and high blood pressure in healthy adults without a confirmed diagnosis of hypertension.”
All study participants underwent extensive periodontal examinations, including detailed measurements of the severity of gum disease, such as plaque all over the mouth, bleeding from the gums, and the depth of the infected gum pockets.
Blood pressure was measured and blood samples were analyzed for levels of white blood cells and highly sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP), both known markers of increased inflammation in the body.
The analysis took into account additional information such as a genetic history of cardiovascular disease, age, BMI, gender, ethnicity, smoking and physical activity.
The researchers found that a diagnosis of gum disease was associated with a higher risk of hypertension, independent of overall cardiovascular risk factors.
Professor Francesco D’Aiuto, head of the periodontology unit at UCL Eastman Dental Institute and co-author of the study, said: ‘This evidence indicates that periodontal bacteria cause damage to the gums and also cause inflammatory responses that lead to the development of systemic diseases including hypertension.
This would mean that the link between gum disease and elevated blood pressure develops well before a patient develops high blood pressure.
“Our research also confirms that an alarmingly high number of people are unaware of a possible diagnosis of hypertension.”
He adds that looking for signs of gum disease can be a useful way to detect high blood pressure earlier than predicted.
‘Oral health strategies such as brushing teeth twice a day have been shown to be very effective in controlling and preventing the most common oral conditions, and the results of our study indicate that they can also be a powerful and affordable tool to help prevent hypertension,’ he says .
The full findings are published in the journal Hypertension