Tooth Loss Associated With Higher Risk of Hypertension
Previous studies have suggested an association between tooth loss and hypertension. A recent study has found that postmenopausal women who have experienced tooth loss are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure.
Participants in the study included 36,692 postmenopausal women who took part in the Women’s Health Initiative-Observational Study. After an initial periodontal assessment, they were followed annually from 1998 to 2015.
The researchers found a positive association between tooth loss and hypertension risk. Specifically, women with tooth loss had a 20% higher risk of developing hypertension during the follow-up years, when compared with women with all of their teeth. The association was stronger among younger women and those with a lower BMI.
The researchers theorized that this could be due to a change in diet to softer foods — including more processed foods — when the women lost their teeth. They found no association between periodontal disease and hypertension.
Researchers from State University of New York at Buffalo led the study. It was published on December 4, 2018, in the American Journal of Hypertension.
Previous studies have found that oral health plays an important role in a person’s overall health. The mouth contains a host of bacteria, and good oral health care is usually able to keep them under control. However, without proper oral care, these bacteria can reach high levels and eventually lead to oral infections. These infections may play in role in some diseases, including cardiovascular disease, endocarditis and diabetes.