Poor oral health is related to high blood pressure, according to an investigation presented today by the American Heart Association (AHA).
After analyzing more than 3,600 records of dental exams of hypertensive people, the study found that people with gum disease are 20% less likely to achieve healthy blood pressure.
The research, published today in the journal Hypertension, encourages all those who have high blood pressure to check their dental health and take measures to remedy irregularities.
Patients who had severe periodontitis also had an average systolic pressure of 3 mmHg (unit of pressure in millimeters of mercury) higher than those with good dental health.
According to the report, this difference in systolic pressure (it measures the pressure of blood against the walls of the arteries) is similar to what a patient with high blood pressure could reduce if they reduce their salt intake by 6 grams a day. equivalent to a small spoonful.
This difference can increase up to 7 mmHg if it is about people with hypertension who have not been treated medically, the study detailed.
The research highlights that reddened or inflamed gums, bleeding when flossing and teeth that gradually lose their gums or loosen, can be indicators of periodontal problems.
"Physicians should pay close attention to the oral health of patients, particularly those who receive treatment for hypertension, and we urge all those with signs of periodontal disease to seek dental care," said Davide Pietropaoli, Ph.D. L'Aquila, in Italy, and researched project leader.
According to AHA, hypertension affects more than 40% of people over 25 years of age worldwide.
Untreated or poorly controlled hypertension can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and heart and kidney failure. AHA estimates that annually hypertension charges 7.5 million lives on the planet.