Title : Inflammation and oral pathogens as determinants of Hypertension
Chronic infections are regarded as risk factors to coronary heart disease and stroke. One such chronic disease, gum disease, is at epidemic proportion among the adult population. Periodontitis has been shown to be linked to endothelial dysfunction. It has also been linked to hypertension, although it is inconclusive as to whether periodontal therapy alone can reduce blood pressure. Gram-negative anaerobes enter into the bloodstream after various stimuli, such as tooth brushing and chewing and periodontal treatment. Several of these are known to deplete nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability, and lower NO bioavailability increases vasculature injury and hypertension.
The relationship between inflammation, oral pathogens and hypertension is reviewed from the perspective of preventative care – both professional preventive care and home oral care. Findings of research reviews suggest that oral health assessment together with effective home oral care may improve both the patients’ quality of life and the management of hypertension. Specific criteria are put forward to improve professional and home oral care in support of the lowering of the incidence of hypertension.