It has long been understood that patients with periodontal disease have a much higher risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, premature delivery or miscarriage, and respiratory issues. While it was recognized that proper oral healthcare helped minimize the risk of these health problems, little research had been conducted that showed a direct correlation between periodontal care and improved health for patients already suffering from these issues. However, a recent study presented to the American Heart Association (AHA) has, for the first time, shown that intensive periodontal care alone is enough to lower blood pressure levels.
Presented at the 2017 annual AHA meeting in Anaheim, CA, a new study has shown that periodontal care can be an effective way to reduce blood pressure, inhibit inflammation, and lower the risk of cardiovascular events. The study was conducted by a team of researchers led by Jun Tao, MD, PhD from the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China. A sample of 107 Chinese men with mild to severe periodontitis were given two levels of periodontal care over a six-month period. The researchers found that those who received more intensive care saw a noticeable reduction in blood pressure levels compared to those who received more basic care.
While many understand the importance of professional oral care for maintaining optimal oral health, few recognize the risks that poor oral health can pose to your overall well-being. There are a number of serious and potential life-threatening conditions that have been tied to untreated periodontal disease. Thanks to Dr. Tao and his team, we now have conclusive evidence that periodontal care can not only reduce the risk of heart issues, but can lower blood pressure and promote a healthier heart as well.
Whether you currently have periodontal disease or heart issues or are concerned about developing them in the future, it’s never too soon to seek periodontal diagnosis and care. The CDC estimates that nearly half of US adults have mild to severe gum disease, and therefore are putting themselves at risk of developing serious health problems. Don’t become a statistic; contact our dental team today to schedule an appointment and learn more about the life-saving benefits of periodontal care.