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True or False: Can Gum Disease Cause High Blood Pressure?

April 26, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — drkics @ 5:41 pm
person pointing to inflamed gums

Growing up, we were constantly told how brushing and flossing were essential for a healthy smile. While that’s certainly true, those practices can also have a positive impact on your general health. If you fail to take proper care of your mouth, you could develop issues like gum disease. Well, did you know that periodontitis can increase your chances of having high blood pressure? Read on to learn more about this connection and how you can keep your gums healthy for better heart health.

What Is High Blood Pressure?

The blood your heart pumps throughout your body travels through the arteries. Blood pressure is used to measure the pressure your blood puts on the walls of the arteries. Hypertension (or high blood pressure) occurs when you consistently measure high throughout the day. It’s a dangerous condition because it often comes with no symptoms, even when it reaches dangerously high levels. The only way to know your blood pressure levels is through regular readings. If left untreated, it can increase your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

The Connection Between Gum Disease and High Blood Pressure?

Typically, gum disease happens when bacteria build up around the base of the teeth and begins to wear down the gum tissue. Recent studies show that people with periodontitis (gum disease) are almost twice as likely to have high blood pressure than those with healthy gums. In many cases, it’s because of the inflammation that occurs with gum disease, which triggers inflammation in the heart as well.

Keep an eye out for the following symptoms as they could indicate unhealthy gums:

  • Red, swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Gum recession
  • Loose teeth

How to Keep Your Gums Healthy

One of the best ways to prevent cardiovascular problems is by taking proper precautions to keep gum disease from occurring in the first place.

That said, here are steps you can take to ensure your gums stay happy and healthy:

  • Practice good oral hygiene (i.e., brush twice a day, floss daily, rinse every day with an ADA-approved mouthwash)
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth hydrated
  • Follow a well-balanced and nutritious diet
  • Avoid smoking and using tobacco
  • Visit your dentist every six months or as often as recommended

Ultimately, taking proper care of your teeth and gums is a great way to maintain good overall health. If you haven’t seen your dentist in over six months, make sure you schedule a checkup as soon as possible. They’ll check your gums and help you get treatment for gum disease if needed!

About the Practice

At Westgate Dental Care, we offer comprehensive, state-of-the-art, personalized dental services in a modern office. Our team is passionate about helping patients achieve and maintain their absolute best smiles. If you think you may suffer from gum disease, don’t hesitate to reach out for a diagnosis. We’ll do everything we can to get your oral health back on the right track. You can make an appointment via our website or call (847) 577-7171.