Treating Gum Disease will help with Blood Pressure

New research reveals that aggressive treatment of gum disease will help in lowering high blood pressure in people at high risk. The research was carried out on 107 Chinese men and women who were aged 18 years and older who suffered from pre-hypertension (blood pressure on the high end of normal range) and moderate to severe gum disease.

50 percent of the study participants were put through intensive treatment for gum disease whereas the other half received the standard treatment for gum treatment.

The standard treatment entailed professional cleaning of teeth to remove plaque and basic oral hygiene instructions. On the other hand, intensive treatment involved standard treatment as well as cleaning down to the roots of teeth, removal of teeth where necessary, and antibiotic treatment.

Following one month of gum disease treatment, systolic blood pressure fell by 3 points in the group receiving intensive treatment compared to the group undergoing standard treatment. There was no difference in diastolic blood pressure for the two groups.

After three months of treatment, the intensive treatment group had systolic blood pressure that was 8 points lower and diastolic pressure that was 4 point lower. The change was nearly 13 points for systolic pressure and 10 points for diastolic pressure in the intensive treatment group after six months of treatment.

Dr. Jun Tao, the lead author, said that the study is the first of its kind to show that intensive periodontal intervention alone can reduce blood pressure levels, improve endothelial function, and inhibit inflammation.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association (AHA). The importance of the findings cannot be overemphasized since one in every three adults in the US has high blood pressure according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke and heart attack.

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