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. And 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.
People treated for high blood pressure are more likely to benefit from their hypertension medication if they also have good oral health, according to a 2018 study in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension. Researchers found that people with healthy gums respond better to their medication than those already diagnosed with gum disease. In fact, those with gum disease were 20% less likely to achieve healthy blood pressure range.
Although the research is in its early stages, doctors and researchers note that these findings support a potential connection between inflammatory conditions of the mouth and heart.
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 something seems wrong, ask your dentist for help. Make sure you also visit your dentist for regular checkups, and brush and floss every day.
Last updated September 8, 2021
The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.