High Blood pressure and oral health

High blood pressure and oral health

What does it mean to have high blood pressure?

Blood pressure consists of two measurements. Systolic blood pressure is how much force your blood exerts against your arteries while your heart beats. Diastolic blood pressure is how much force your blood exerts against your arteries while your heart rests. Because your arteries are narrow, too much force can easily damage them, which can cause complications such as stroke or heart disease.

If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you should follow your doctor’s dietary and exercise recommendations and avoid smoking. If you have diabetes, you should be especially mindful of your sugar consumption and insulin levels, as diabetes can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure.

What does high blood pressure have to do with oral health?

Many studies suggest there’s a significant correlation between periodontal disease and high blood pressure. One possible reason is that periodontal disease contributes to chronic inflammation, which is associated with cardiovascular disease. Although the research is in its early stages, these findings support a potential connection between inflammatory conditions of the mouth and heart.

Can my dentist help me?

Absolutely! Because the human body is so interconnected, your dentist may be one of the first people to recognize that something is wrong with your health. Bad breath, mouth sores and bleeding gums may be signs of a more serious condition. While these developments don’t necessarily equal high blood pressure, they could be symptoms of other problems. If you notice that something in your mouth seems wrong, ask your dentist for help. Make sure you also visit your dentist for regular checkups, and brush and floss every day.

How do I prevent high blood pressure?

  • Don’t smoke. Tobacco use causes your blood vessels to narrow, forcing the heart to pump faster, which leads to high blood pressure.
  • Talk to your doctor about weight management. Being overweight can lead to high blood pressure. Treatment to support weight loss may help prevent or treat this.
  • Exercise. An active lifestyle promotes health and reduces your risk for high blood pressure.
  • Limit salty and fatty foods. A diet high in salt or fat can contribute to high blood pressure.

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