Brushing your teeth will never be the same again after this: keeping gum disease (periodontitis) at bay can help you lower your blood pressure, especially if you’re at risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure), according to a study presented at the American Heart Association Meeting.
Gum Disease and Blood Pressure Study
The study demonstrates for the first time that intensive periodontal intervention (gum therapy) can reduce blood pressure levels, inhibit inflammation and improve blood vessel lining function without other treatments for blood pressure
Samples were then split so that one group received treatment for their gum disease and the other group remain untreated with both groups having blood pressure levels monitored.
Researchers treated the experimental group for gum disease. Treatments included proper oral hygiene and teeth cleaning as well as hygiene therapy including plaque removal above the gum line, as well as more intensive procedures such as root cleaning, antibiotic treatment, and dental extractions, when necessary.
The Results – Treating Gum Disease Lowers Blood Pressure
Researchers were able to discover that people who had undergone intensive treatment posted a three-point drop in their blood pressure a month after treatment. This value improved three months after gum disease treatment, with drops as low as eight points in blood pressure. By the end of the study blood pressure was noted to have dipped by 13 points just from treating gum disease.
Gum Disease Linked To Heart Health
The results of this study add more weight to growing evidence that points out the relationship between bacteria levels and inflammation in our gums and its effects upon other areas of our body.
As well as gum disease is linked to high blood pressure, an earlier study conducted by the University of Florida discovered that the same bacteria responsible for gum disease could also increase the likelihood of a person developing heart disease.
This was discovered through testing wherein mice that were infected with bacteria that cause gum disease were observed to see how it spreads. Results showed that animals who were infected with the bacteria exhibited an increase in the risk factors for heart disease.
Fast Facts About Gum Disease
Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that affects the soft tissue and damages the bone that supports your teeth. If left untreated, the condition can lead to a loosening, or even loss, of teeth. While the infection is common, it is preventable – maintaining good oral hygiene is a sure way to prevent it from happening to you.
How To Spot If You Have Gum Disease
To know if you have periodontitis, go to the mirror and check your gums. Healthy gums are firm and slightly pink and fit tightly around your teeth. Check for the following symptoms to see if your gums are infected:
If you suspect you have gum disease or you are not sure a dental visit that includes detailed periodontal gum health measurements and x-rays will confirm or rule out gum infection.
To learn about how gum disease occurs and how its treated Read more here: My Dentist Says I Have Periodontal Disease