People with gum disease are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure

People with gum disease are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure

  • Eastman Dental Institute of University College London has conducted research
  • Found gum disorders are linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure
  • High blood pressure has been associated with the risk of heart attacks and strokes

People with gum disease are more likely to have high blood pressure, according to a new study.

High blood pressure affects up to 45 percent of adults and is the leading global cause of premature death, while gum disease – also known as periodontitis – affects more than half of the world's population.

High blood pressure or hypertension is the main preventable cause of heart disease, while periodontitis has been associated with an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

The latest findings, published in the journal Cardiovascular Research, show that people with gum disease are more likely to have high blood pressure.


Study senior author professor Francesco D & Aiuto from Eastman Dental Institute of University College London, said: We have observed a linear association – the more severe periodontitis, the higher the risk of hypertension.

Eastman Dental Institute of University College London

Eastman Dental Institute of University College London

& # 39; The findings suggest that gum disease patients should be informed of their risk and given advice on lifestyle changes to prevent high blood pressure such as exercise and a healthy diet. & # 39;

He explained: & # 39; Hypertension can be the cause of heart attack and stroke in patients with periodontitis.

& # 39; Previous research suggests a link between periodontitis and hypertension and that dental treatments may improve blood pressure, but to date the findings are not conclusive. & # 39;

This study gathered the best evidence available to investigate the risk of high blood pressure in patients with moderate and severe gum disease. A total of 81 studies from 26 countries were included in the analysis.


Moderate to severe periodontitis was associated with a 22 percent increased risk of hypertension, while severe periodontitis was associated with a 49 percent higher risk of hypertension.

Study lead author Dr. Eva Munoz Aguilera, also from UCL Eastman Dental Institute, said: & # 39; We have observed a positive linear relationship, with the risk of high blood pressure as gum disease becomes more severe. & # 39;

The mean arterial blood pressure was higher in patients with periodontitis compared to patients without, and was 4.5 mmHg higher systolic and 2 mmHg higher diastolic blood pressure.

Dr. Munoz Aguilera said: & # 39; The differences are not negligible.

& # 39; An average blood pressure rise of 5 mmHg would be linked to a 25 percent higher risk of death from a heart attack or stroke. & # 39;


Only five of the 12 intervention studies included in the review showed a reduction in blood pressure after gum treatment. The changes even occurred in people with healthy blood pressure levels.

Professor D & # 39; Aiuto said: & # 39; There seems to be a continuum between oral health and blood pressure that exists in healthy and sick states.

& # 39; The evidence that periodontal therapy suggests that it may lower blood pressure remains unclear. In almost all intervention studies, blood pressure was not the primary outcome.

& # 39; Randomized studies are needed to determine the impact of periodontal therapy on blood pressure. & # 39;

Regarding possible reasons for the link between the disorders, he said gum disease and the associated oral bacteria lead to inflammation in the body, which affects blood vessel function.


Common genetic sensitivity can also play a role, along with shared risk factors such as smoking and obesity.

Prof. D & # 39; Aiuto said: & # 39; In many countries around the world, oral health is not regularly monitored and gum disease remains untreated for years.

& # 39; The hypothesis is that this situation of oral and systemic inflammation and response to bacteria accumulates on top of existing risk factors. & # 39;

He noted that the study examined gum disease as a potential risk factor for hypertension, but the reverse could also be true.

Prof. D & # 39; Aiuto added: & # 39; Further research is needed to investigate whether patients with high blood pressure have an increased risk of gum disease.


& # 39; It seems sensible to give oral health advice to people with hypertension. & # 39;


High blood pressure or hypertension rarely shows noticeable symptoms. But if not treated, it increases your risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes.

More than one in four adults in the UK have high blood pressure, although many will not realize it.

The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is to have your blood pressure checked.

Blood pressure is recorded with two digits. The systolic pressure (higher number) is the force with which your heart pumps blood through your body.

The diastolic pressure (lower number) is the resistance to blood flow in the blood vessels. They are both measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).

As a general guide:

  • high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90 mmHg or higher
  • ideal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60 mmHg and 120/80 mmHg
  • low blood pressure is considered 90/60 mmHg or lower
  • A blood pressure measurement between 120/80 mmHg and 140/90 mmHg can mean that you run the risk of high blood pressure if you do not take steps to keep your blood pressure under control.

If your blood pressure is too high, this puts extra pressure on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.

Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions, such as:

  • heart disease
  • heart attacks
  • strokes
  • heart failure
  • peripheral arterial disease
  • aortic aneurysms & # 39; s
  • kidney disease
  • vascular dementia

Source: NHS


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