Tooth loss may seem like a normal part of aging, but it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
Recent study findings looking at postmenopausal women found that women who experience tooth loss are at a higher risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure). There have been several studies that have looked at the association between gum disease and blood pressure, but the exact relationship between the two is vastly unclear.
The study involved 36,692 postmenopausal women who were followed annually from their initial periodontal assessment between 1998 and 2015 and were observed for possible hypertension cases.
The study revealed a positive association between tooth loss and high blood pressure. Women with tooth loss had a 20 percent higher risk of developing hypertension compared to those who had their natural teeth. This association was highest among younger women and those with lower body mass indexes.
Lead author Joshua H. Gordon explained, “We are continuing to explore the underlying reasons for the association between tooth loss and hypertension. Future studies on the impact of tooth loss on dietary patterns, inflammation, and the communities of bacteria that live in the mouth may give us further insight into this association.”
Possible explanations for this association include tooth decay, which can lead to diet changes and contribute to hypertension. For example, lack of teeth can make it difficult to eat many healthy foods, resulting in the consumption of more unhealthier food options that can contribute to high blood pressure.
Furthermore, older women generally are at a higher risk for high blood pressure, and this study sheds light that extra care must be taken when it comes to oral health as a means of reducing the risk of hypertension.
It’s essential that you visit a dentist regularly, especially as you age, as a means of reducing the risk of tooth decay and ultimately tooth loss. Furthermore, maintain proper oral hygiene by daily brushing and flossing. Lastly, try to reduce your intake of sugary foods which can lead to tooth decay.
- Tooth Loss? You May Be at a Risk of Heart Disease
- Understanding blood pressure readings key to overall well-being
- 21 foods that raise blood pressure level