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You Can Suffer From High Blood Pressure If You Have A Gum Disease, Read on

People with gum disease (periodontitis) have a greater likelihood of suffering from high blood pressure or vice versa, warn researchers.

The study investigated gum disease as a potential risk factor for hypertension, but the reverse could also be true.

“Further research is needed to examine whether patients with high blood pressure have elevated likelihood of gum disease. It seems prudent to provide oral health advice to those with hypertension, ”said Professor Francesco D'Aiuto from UCL Eastman Dental Institute in the UK.

High blood pressure affects 30-45 per cent of adults and is the leading global cause of premature death, while periodontitis affects more than 50 per cent of the world's population.

“We observed a linear association – the more severe the periodontitis, the higher the probability of hypertension. The findings suggest that patients with gum disease should be aware of their risk and advice on lifestyle changes to prevent high blood pressure such as exercise and a healthy diet, ”said D'Aiuto in a paper published in Cardiovascular Research, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology.

Hypertension could be the driver of heart attack and stroke in patients with periodontitis.

"Previous research suggests a link between periodontitis and hypertension and that dental treatment may improve blood pressure, but to date, the findings are inconclusive," the researchers noted.

This study compiled the best available evidence to examine the odds of high blood pressure in patients with moderate to severe gum disease.

A total of 81 studies from 26 countries were included in the meta-analysis.

Moderate-to-severe periodontitis was associated with a 22 per cent increased risk for hypertension, while severe periodontitis was associated with a 49 per cent higher odds of hypertension.

Mean arterial blood pressure was higher in patients with periodontitis compared to those without. An average 5 mmHg blood pressure rise would be associated with a 25 per cent increased risk of death from heart attack or stroke, the researchers noted.

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