High blood pressure: Periodontitis could increase your risk of developing the condition


High blood pressure is a common condition whereby the force of blood pushing against your artery walls is consistently too high. This pressure gradually causes your arteries to harden and narrow, which means the heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body. This mechanism can raise your risk of having a heart attack so it is important to keep it in check.  Having poor oral hygeine increases a person’s risk of developing high blood pressure.

In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, an investigation into whether there is an association between periodontitis and hypertension was analysed. 

“Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of deaths. Also, cardiovascular risk factors start the atherosclerotic process, which leads to cardiovascular diseases,” noted the study

It continued: “Nowadays, periodontal disease can also be considered another cardiovascular risk factor.

“It involves inflammatory, immunological and humoral activities, which induce the production of proinflammatory cytokines and the destruction of the epithelium.

“This allows the entry of endotoxins and exotoxins in the bloodstream, which may contribute to atherogenesis and thromboembolic events. 

“Periodontal disease or periodontitis is a destructive disease that affects the supporting structures of the teeth, including the periodontal ligament, cementum and the alveolar bone.

“It is characterized as a chronic mixed infection, which is caused by several microbial agents.

“Hypertension appears to be associated with periodontitis.

“More recent studies have shown that systolic and diastolic pressures are higher among PD patients than in individuals without periodontitis.”

Gum disease symptoms include red and swollen gums and bleeding gums after brushing or flossing your teeth.

The NHS lists risk factors for developing high blood pressure as:

Age – the risk of developing high blood pressure increases as you get older

A family history of high blood pressure

Being of African or Caribbean origin

A high amount of salt in your food

Lack of exercise

Being overweight

Regularly drinking large amounts of alcohol


Long-term sleep deprivation

Eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, regularly exercising, drinking alcohol in moderation and now smoking can often prevent or reduce high blood pressure.



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