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Healthy Gums Could Help Prevent High Blood Pressure

Periodontal disease, or chronic inflammation of the gums, is linked to a long list of whole-body health problems. With the March release of a study conducted by researchers at the University College London Eastman Dental Institute and reported in the journal Hypertension, we can add high blood pressure to that list.

Dr. Francesco D’Aiuto, lead author of the study, says the new research indicates that there’s an association between severe gum disease and high systolic blood pressure. His team studied two groups of 250 adults with a median age of 35. One group, which was healthy, had a 7 percent rate of high blood pressure; the other group, which was healthy except for severe gum disease, had a rate of 14 percent.

"Our evidence indicates that periodontal bacteria cause damage to the gums and also triggers inflammatory responses that can impact the development of systemic diseases including" high blood pressure, D’Aiuto said in a news release from Hypertension.

“While only an association and not a cause-and-effect link was established,” the report continues, “the findings suggest that about 50% of adults could have undetected high blood pressure due to gum disease—a tissue infection that can also lead to inflammation and bone or tooth loss.

“Researchers said preventing and treating gum disease may be a cost-effective way to reduce systemic inflammation and improve the function of the endothelium, the thin lining inside the heart and blood vessels.”

Information sourced by Jonathan Richter, DDS, FAGD, owner of Cariodontal, located at 310 E. Shore Rd., Ste. 101, Great Neck, NY (516-282-0310 / Cariodontal.com), and Manhattan Oasis Dentistry, 525 West End Ave., Ste. 1G, New York, NY (212-874-2880 / ManhattanOasisDentistry.com).


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