For years now, researchers have determined a link between poor oral health and heart or cardiovascular disease.
When researchers state “a link” they do not mean a direct cause but rather that one condition is associated with another condition. For example, for many years a link between smoking and cancer was observed and then, after time, it was accepted that smoking actually causes cancer. Similarly, poor oral health and periodontal disease is linked to many negative body conditions, diseases and non-optimal health.
So, while a person’s periodontal disease may not directly CAUSE cardiovascular disease it has been established that those with periodontal disease have a higher incidence of heart disease as well.
A recent study, on Poor Oral Health and Blood Pressure Control Among US Hypertensive Adults, has linked periodontal disease and poor oral health with not only higher blood pressure but with the fact that poor oral health actually appears to interfere with the effectiveness of treatment to control high blood pressure.
This study covered 3600 individuals by examining both their medical and their dental records. The findings were quite interesting and showed that those with good oral health not only had lower blood pressure BUT if they were taking blood pressure lowering medication then they responded more favorably to the treatment.
For those with poor oral health and periodontal disease this then is a double-whammy. Not only does the study show that those with poor oral health were more likely to suffer from higher blood pressure BUT also that the effectiveness of their treatment for hypertension was lowered.
The takeaway is that poor oral health, specifically periodontal disease, can contribute to higher blood pressure–hypertension–and can interfere with the medication taken to control the hypertension.
The researchers added that medical treatment for high blood pressure should also include seeking dental care for any signs of poor oral health.
And so, this is just one more reason to take care of your teeth, seek dental care and handle any signs of periodontal disease. More and more, the scientific circle is validating the fact that good oral health and good health in general goes hand-in-hand, especially heart health!
And so, a consistent oral hygiene regimen, routine cleanings and an ongoing use of oral probiotics can help you on the path to better health, longevity and quality of life.