and hypertension and that regular dental
check-ups and treating gum disease may reduce the risk of blood pressure.
However, the findings of these studies have not been conclusive.
This current study
gathered the best available evidence
to determine the relationship between
high blood pressure and moderate and severe gum disease. Totally 81 studies
from 26 countries were analyzed in this meta-analysis.
Effect of Gum
Health on Blood Pressure
- Moderate-to-severe gum disease was found to have a 22% elevated
for hypertension while severe gum disease was linked with 49%
elevated risk of hypertension
- On average blood pressure was higher in patients with gum
disease compared to persons without gum disease. This was reflected as a
4.5 mmHg higher systolic readings and 2 mmHg higher diastolic blood
- Only 5 out of 12 interventional studies taken for this meta-analysis
showed a lowering in blood pressure following treatment of gum disease.
This occurred even in persons with normal blood pressure values
The findings of the study suggest
periodontal therapy could reduce blood pressure, but the evidence for that is
insufficient and further randomized studies
have to be done. However, the
authors note that the impact of slight reductions in blood pressure values can
be beneficial and even a reduction of blood pressure
by 5 mmHg reduces heart
disease risk by 25%.
Professor D'Aiuto of the UCL Eastman
Dental Institute, said: "There seems to be a
continuum between oral health and blood pressure which exists in
healthy and diseased states. The evidence suggesting periodontal therapy could
reduce blood pressure remains inconclusive. In nearly all intervention studies,
blood pressure was not the primary outcome. Randomized trials are needed to
determine the impact of periodontal therapy on blood pressure."
How Gum Disease
may Affect Blood Pressure
In gum disease, the presence of inflammation
and bacteria in the mouth results
in the spread of inflammation throughout the body, which can also blood vessel
function. Other risk factors such as genetic susceptibility and lifestyle
factors such as smoking, unhealthy diet and
also play a contributing role.
Scope of the
- Creating awareness about the importance of oral and periodontal
health which is ignored by many persons
- Future research can explore if the reverse association is true
i.e., persons with high blood pressure have a higher incidence of gum
In summary, the
study finds that gum disease may increase the risk of hypertension and
associated complications and further studies are needed. Additionally, it's
important for people to be more aware of dental hygiene and periodic dental
- Persons with Hypertension may Benefit from Gum Check-Up - (https://doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvz201)