A study reveals the association of gum disease with a major factor in causing heart disease

Neglecting oral health can do more than just cause bad breath and bleeding gums.

In fact, a new study has shed light on the potentially dangerous health consequences, including high blood pressure.
The study found that if bad breath, bleeding and swollen gums are part of your life, you may be at risk of developing cardiovascular complications.

The researchers, from the Eastman Institute of Dentistry, University College London, further research on the link between gum disease and the possibility of high blood pressure.

The researchers investigated data from 250 healthy adults with severe gum disease and compared them to 250 people without the oral condition.

According to the findings, those with gum disease were twice as likely to have elevated systolic blood pressure, also known as hypertension, than those with healthy gums.

“This evidence indicates that periodontal bacteria cause damage to the gums and also lead to inflammatory responses that can influence the development of systemic diseases, including high blood pressure,” study author Francesco Diotto, professor of periodontal disease, said in a statement.

The study concluded that patients with periodontal disease are more likely to have high blood pressure when there is “active gingivitis,” which is bleeding gums.

Other symptoms of gum disease include:

Swollen gums
Bad breath

Painful chewing

– receding gums

The study found:

The presence of active gingivitis (defined by bleeding gums) has been associated with elevated systolic blood pressure.

Participants with periodontitis showed increased glucose, “bad” cholesterol (LDL), and white blood cell (hsCRP) levels, and decreased levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL) compared to the control group.

High blood pressure is usually asymptomatic, and many may not realize that they are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular complications.

“We focused on investigating the relationship between severe periodontitis and hypertension in healthy adults without a confirmed diagnosis of hypertension,” the researchers say. Therefore, reducing the risk of gum disease is more relevant than just having good oral health.

This can be achieved by following a routine of brushing the teeth for two full minutes twice daily, in addition to flossing between the teeth. It is also recommended that you visit your dentist and dental hygienist regularly for cleanings and checkups.

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