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Home / Health / To control blood pressure, brush and braid your teeth … – News – Akron Beacon Journal

To control blood pressure, brush and braid your teeth … – News – Akron Beacon Journal



Researchers report that in adults whose hypertension has been treated with medication, systolic blood pressure – which measures the pressure in the vessels when the heart beats – became higher with the decline in the health of their teeth and gums

hypertension under control, even with the help of medication?

Open your mouth and say "Aha!" if you see tooth decay or gums that are sore, bleeding or retreating. Maybe you found the culprit.

Researchers reported Monday that in adults whose hypertension has been treated with medication, systolic blood pressure – which measures the pressure in the vessels when the heart beats – increased with decreasing health of the teeth and gums

Im Compared to hypertensive patients who had no signs of periodontitis, those with inflamed gums were 20 percent less likely to have their blood pressure within healthy limits. In addition, patients with poor dental health had systolic blood pressure values ​​that were on average 3 mm HG higher than in similar patients with healthy gums

The results were published in the journal Hypertension

. Three American adults ̵

1; that's 75 million Americans – are thought to have high blood pressure, putting them at greater risk for heart attacks and strokes. Hypertension is a primary cause of more than 1,000 deaths a day in the United States. But only 54 percent of patients have their blood pressure levels under control with a combination of medication, diet and exercise.

The new study is in line with a research mountain that associates gum disease with higher heart rates. Blood vessel and kidney disease – all organs that are affected by high blood pressure. The study shows that patients with untreated hypertension and healthy gums have blood pressure values ​​similar to those of people taking medication for their hypertension.

Hypertension, but also gum disease

In other words, bad dental health largely negates the effects of taking blood pressure medication.

The new research does not find that gum disease causes high blood pressure and its negative health effects. Many researchers suggest that, like stiff blood vessels, aching and bleeding gums are just another manifestation of inflammation throughout the body.

The study also does not show that the treatment of periodontal disease reduces hypertension.

When dental health is poor, the challenge of controlling blood pressure is more expensive and more likely to fail.

Researchers from Italy have searched the records of 11,753 Americans who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Survey in 2009 and 201 4 and were screened for periodontal disease. In about 4,095 of the participants had been diagnosed with hypertension, of which 88.5 percent did not take medication for the disease and 11.5 percent.

The rates of moderate and severe periodontal disease were among study participants, the males, elderly, Latino, smokers, and those with less income and education. Participants who were 65 years or older and showed signs of a long-standing periodontal disease were much more likely to experience uncontrolled high blood pressure than those with less severe and prolonged gum disease, a trend that has been particularly prevalent in Latinos. Both hypertension and periodontitis are more common in African Americans and Latinos in the United States.

These patient populations also show strikingly higher rates of the diseases associated with both, including heart disease, renal failure and cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke and certain forms of dementia.

There is some evidence that African Americans may have a genetic vulnerability to high blood pressure, but it is controversial. There is little doubt that access to health care varies by race and ethnicity, and that barriers to good medical and dental care play a crucial role in the disparity of racial and ethnic health problems.

Dental care is particularly expensive and far less likely to be fully insured than medical care. As a result, economic factors are likely to play an important role in influencing the health of a patient's gums.

In addition, many GPs and cardiologists fail to consult their patients about their dental health or hand them over to dentists if they are not undergoing heart surgery and have clear signs of tooth decay. And dentists do not necessarily check their patients' blood pressure.

The study authors wrote that hypertensive patients should consider their gum health when considering their treatment options.

"Our data suggest that all racial / ethnic subgroups, especially Hispanics, could benefit from such an approach," they wrote. "Conversely, ignoring the additional burden of poor periodontal status on blood pressure could lead to increased cardiovascular risk in the long term."

Charlene Niemi, head of health care at Care Harbor, a California-based charity that provides free medical, dental and visionary care at massive "pop-up" clinics across the state, said it was "essential, that people are aware that good oral care and treatment of gum disease play a role in blood pressure. "

While everyone needs regular dental check-ups, "Those with high blood pressure should understand the importance of a dentist, seek routine aftercare, and practice good oral care," said Niemi. Connecting underserved patients to such routine care is an important task for Care Harbor.

In a time when the federal health insurance for the poor and disabled will be scaled back and the requirements of the Affordable Care Act abolished, it is unlikely that patients with gum disease will get better access to dental care in the near future.

But if so, then it could help, Dr. Gregg L. Fonarow, a cardiologist at UCLA.

"It is suggested by these data, but that would have to be proven," Fonarov said.

Meanwhile, he said, the presence of a compound is clear: patients with high blood pressure should go out of their way to improve their oral health, and those with bad dental health should be vigilant against high blood pressure.


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