Poor Oral Health and Blood Pressure Control Among US Hypertensive Adults

This research was originally published in 2018 by Davide Pietropaoli, Rita Del Pinto, Claudio Ferri, Jackson T. WrightJr, Mario Giannoni, Eleonora Ortu, and Annalisa Monaco. 

We have curated this article as a reference point for The Larkin Protocol.


Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the tissues surrounding the teeth, with evidence of systemic effects. Some studies showed the benefit of periodontal therapy on blood pressure (BP), but the impact of periodontitis on BP control is unknown. We retrospectively analyzed cross-sectional, nationally representative data from treated hypertensive adults aged ≥30 years with and without periodontitis. BP was examined as both continuous (mm Hg) and categorical (treatment goal achievement status according to guidelines: at goal and above goal) variable according to the presence or absence of periodontitis and its clinical parameters (probing depth, clinical attachment loss, and disease severity [mild, moderate, and severe]). Systolic BP means and odds ratios for uncontrolled BP according to the presence and severity of periodontitis were calculated using progressively adjusted models. Among treated hypertensive adults, mean systolic BP was about 2.3 to 3 mm Hg higher in the presence of periodontitis (P<0.0001). Periodontitis was associated with unsuccessful antihypertensive treatment after multiple adjustments, with higher odds by disease severity. A good periodontal health is associated with better systolic BP profile during antihypertensive therapy by about 2.3 to 3 mm Hg and with lower odds of antihypertensive treatment failure. Dedicated studies are needed to test the impact of periodontal therapy on BP and the long-term effects on cardiovascular outcomes of this complementary approach to systemic health.

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