About one in three Americans is living with high blood pressure. While this condition can have many effects on your body, oral health is one that many people fail to consider. Read on to learn more about the oral health dangers of high blood pressure.
The Relationship between High Blood Pressure and Oral Health
A recent study examined the relationship between high blood pressure and oral health. It found that oral hygiene might be considered an independent risk factor for high blood pressure. Additionally, maintaining healthy gums could also control and prevent high blood pressure in the future.
Another study identified a link between periodontal disease and uncontrolled blood pressure. People with high blood pressure and gum disease were 20% more likely to have difficulty controlling their hypertension with medication in comparison to people with high blood pressure who did not have gum disease.
Blood Pressure Medication and Oral Health
In some cases, it may be the medication that you take to treat high blood pressure that actually has an adverse effect on the mouth. Blood pressure medication dilates the blood vessels, which helps the heart to pump blood. However, in some people, these drugs can cause gum changes, including lumpy and thick gum tissue that may overgrow on the teeth. This can cause problems with chewing, and it may make it difficult for you to properly clean between the teeth. With time, your oral hygiene could deteriorate.
If you experience gum overgrowth as a result of your blood pressure medication, we can help. Non-surgical options include scaling and root planing, which can improve your oral hygiene. In severe cases, we may recommend surgical treatments in order to remove the overgrown gum tissue.
Are you concerned about how your high blood pressure might affect your oral health? If so, please give our office a call. If you have high blood pressure, it is more important than ever to keep up with your regular dental checkups.