PA Department of Health Ruling Regarding Dental Appointments

Gum Disease Linked to High Blood Pressure

The more severe gum disease is, the higher the chance of hypertension. The findings of a study published in the Oxford Academic have concluded that Periodontitis, also known as gum disease, has been linked to hypertension also referred to as high blood pressure. After analyzing the results of 81 studies including more than 200,000 people, those with gum disease may be at an increased risk for high blood pressure. People with advanced Periodontitis have a 49% higher risk of hypertension. 

Portrait of a woman at the dentist

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a persistent abnormal elevation of pressure in the arteries. It’s known as the “silent killer” because it’s typically not associated with symptoms until problems develop with the heart, kidney, or brain. If left untreated, hypertension can lead to kidney failure, heart attacks, heart failure, strokes, and blindness.

So what is Periodontitis? It’s a serious infection caused by bacteria accumulating on the teeth and gums. Periodontitis begins with inflammation, or gingivitis, plaque buildup causing gums to bleed when brushing or flossing. As this infection progresses, jawbones and teeth can be damaged. Eventually, the infection will cause the connective tissue holding teeth in place to deteriorate. The gums, jawbones and other tissue supporting teeth are destroyed, leading to tooth loss. 

Avoid gum disease and lower the risk of high blood pressure with a regular oral health routine. Smokers or individuals with type 2 diabetes are especially susceptible to Periodontitis. Look for the warning signs. If you experience swollen gums or bleeding when brushing or flossing, contact us at Three Rivers Dental Group to schedule an appointment. We’ll address any questions, comments or concerns you may have regarding gum disease and Periodontitis prevention and assist with planning your dental care and teeth cleaning routine.