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How Can Gum Disease Lead to High Blood Pressure?

February 13, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — friscoperio @ 7:12 pm
Lady shows gums

Oral health issues have been linked to many other problems that can occur in the body. A recent study on cardiovascular health found a strong correlation between gum disease and high blood pressure, leading the researchers to recommend that doctors regard gum disease as a risk to a patient’s overall health. Here’s what you should know about periodontal disease and high blood pressure so that you can preserve your overall health by preventing both.

What Are the Risks of High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, happens when the pumping of the blood causes abnormal stress to the walls of the blood vessels. Untreated hypertension can lead to serious overall health consequences such as:

  • Vision loss
  • Kidney disease
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Pregnancy Complications

A few risk factors for developing high blood pressure include:

  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Diabetes
  • Hormone imbalances
  • High cholesterol
  • Tobacco use

How Might Gum Disease Contribute to High Blood Pressure?

While there is no conclusive link proven between high blood pressure and gum disease, there is strong evidence that one can lead to the other. It is believed that bacteria causing oral infections like tooth decay or gum disease can travel through the bloodstream to infect other parts of the body. This can cause plaque and inflammation in the heart and blood vessels, making the body work harder to circulate blood, resulting in hypertension.

How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?

The best way to prevent gum disease is to see your dentist for regular checkups while practicing excellent oral hygiene on a daily basis. A proper oral cleaning routine starts with brushing your teeth at least twice a day using a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Gently polish each tooth with short, circular strokes to eliminate plaque that can cause gum disease.

Flossing is every bit as important as brushing because it can eliminate plaque and food debris between the teeth where a brush cannot reach. It will also stimulate blood flow in the gums, helping them to heal and fight infections. Finishing the job with antibacterial mouthwash can kill more than 99% of the harmful germs in your mouth and leave your breath smelling minty and fresh. Make sure your brand has the American Dental Association’s seal of approval on the label.

Don’t let gum disease lead to graver problems for your overall health. Consulting with your dentist can help you determine the best ways to keep your gums healthy.

About the Author

Dr. Zachary Carnow earned his dental degree from the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and regularly completes postgraduate coursework to expand his skill set. He is proud to be a member of the American Dental Association, the North Texas Dental Society, and the Texas Society of Periodontists. His office in Frisco, TX offers surgical and non-surgical periodontal treatments and sedation dentistry. If you are concerned about the effects of untreated gum disease, contact his office online or dial (214) 619-4990.

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