Treating gum disease may help lower blood pressure
Treatment periodontitis significantly lowered blood pressure among Chinese patients at risk for developing high blood pressure.
That's according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2017, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.
This small study compared blood pressure levels after standard and intensive treatment for gum disease.
The standard treatment included basic oral hygiene instructions and teeth cleaning with plaque removal above the gum line. The intensive treatment included the standard treatment along with cleaning down to the roots with local anesthesia, antibiotic treatment and dental extractions, if necessary.
- One month after treatment, systolic blood pressure was nearly three points lower in participants receiving intensive treatment, but no significant difference was observed in diastolic blood pressure.
- Three months after treatment, systolic blood pressure was nearly eight points lower and diastolic pressure was nearly 4 points lower in patients receiving intensive treatment.
- Six months after treatment, systolic blood pressure was nearly 13 points and diastolic blood pressure was almost 10 points lower in patients receiving intensive treatment.
Authors say the study demonstrates for the first time that intensive periodontal intervention alone can reduce blood pressure levels, inhibit inflammation and improve endothelial function.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart and blood vessel disease. Most people manage the disease through diet and lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, limiting alcohol and taking prescribed medications properly.
Author: Julie Bissett