Hypertension could be a result of poor oral health. Studies have shown an association between hypertension and periodontitis. High blood pressure may be soon proven to come from increased levels of heavy metals. Our bones may be releasing metals like lead and mercury as we age and start losing bone tissue. Increased blood pressure also may be caused by the chronic infection in our teeth. And or from the bones surrounding the teeth. This release into the blood stream can poison our kidneys. Which in turn increase blood pressure to get rid of the poison, causing this chronic ailment.
Another hypothesis is that plaque buildup can enter the blood. And build up on the insides of artery walls causing blood to work harder to travel through arteries. This damage results in high blood pressure, restricted blood flow, and risk of heart disease. In fact, those with poor oral health are more likely to develop hypertension as their oral conditions worsen.
Gum disease is common in those taking medication to control high blood pressure. Although it is important to state there is no concrete evidence that links hypertension to gum disease. Yet some experts say that high blood pressure is what causes poor oral health. This is because many medications used to treat hypertension have side effects that can result in dry mouth and difficulty with chewing. This inhibits the flow of saliva and spurs bacteria growth.
Proven Effects on Oral Health
Hypertension medication commonly carries side effects on the oral environment. It is very common to experience dry mouth, also known as Xerostomia when taking various kinds of medications. Xerostomia can result in gingivitis, periodontal disease, erosion and loss of tooth structure. If left untreated, dry mouth lowers pH levels within the oral cavity. Which increases the development of plaque and therefore dental cavities.
An altered sense of taste termed Dysgeusia is another effect of hypertension medications. Some others may also make patients more likely to faint when raised in a dental chair. This is a reaction known as Orthostatic Hypotension.
Gingival overgrowth is another possible side-effect of medication. This overgrowth also commonly results in patients to undergo gingival surgery to remove some of the gingivae. Yet quite often it will grow back. Gingiva is very difficult to look after when experiencing this overgrowth. When plaque gets trapped underneath and causes soreness. It is difficult to brush and thus maintain good oral health.
Although scientific evidence on this, their is no yet concrete. there are dentists who recognize the link between hypertension and gum disease. In fact, they recommend that patients brush and floss their teeth regularly. As well as maintain a healthy diet by eating vitamin rich foods known to lower the risk for high blood pressure and heart disease.
There are many causes for high blood pressure. Yet it seems that dental infections may be one of the overlooked causes. For more information on the association between hypertension and oral health contact us. And schedule an appointment for a full checkup and diagnosis.