Severe gum disease linked to 49% higher risk of hypertension

Severe gum disease linked to 49% higher risk of hypertension

Medical News Today reports on a study linking periodontal disease with hypertension. A new review now argues that the more severe the form of gum disease, the higher the risk of hypertension. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 47.2% of people aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease, and about 32% of all adults in the United States have hypertension.

While the two conditions may appear to be entirely unrelated, recent studies have pointed to an intriguing link between the presence of gum disease and an increased risk of hypertension. Now, a review of the recent literature on the topic has confirmed that, based on the evidence so far, people with periodontitis do seem to have a higher risk of hypertension.

What is more, according to the findings of the review — which feature in the journal Cardiovascular Research — the more severe the periodontitis, the higher the risk of hypertension. The review’s senior author Prof. Francesco D’Aiuto, from the University College London Eastman Dental Institute in the United Kingdom commented: "Previous research suggests a connection between periodontitis and hypertension and that dental treatment might improve blood pressure, but to date, the findings are inconclusive.”

The investigators reviewed and analyzed the evidence that 81 studies from 26 countries had presented. The research suggested that average arterial blood pressure tends to be significantly higher in individuals with periodontitis. More specifically, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure were 4.5 mm Hg and 2 mm Hg higher, respectively, among those with gum disease than among those without it.

Moreover, the researchers identified an association between moderate-to-severe periodontitis and a 22% higher risk of hypertension, while they linked severe periodontitis to a 49% higher risk of this problem. "We observed a linear association — the more severe periodontitis is, the higher the probability of hypertension," notes Prof. D’Aiuto. "The findings suggest that patients with gum disease should be informed of their risk and given advice on lifestyle changes to prevent high blood pressure, such as exercise and a healthy diet," he adds.

Link to article: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326428.php

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