Unfortunately, the importance of good oral health is often ignored in this country. Many people do not recognize the connection between a healthy mouth and a healthy body. This relationship becomes even more pronounced as we age. In fact, the treatments for some conditions can negatively affect the teeth and gums. High blood pressure falls into this category.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious medical condition involving the circulatory system. Blood and oxygen is carried through the body by the pressure pumped from the heart. This condition describes when the blood is pumped through the arteries with too much force. The arteries have a naturally elastic quality. However, when too much pressure is applied, the blood vessels can fail to function properly. High blood pressure is often referred to as “The Silent Killer” because there are generally no symptoms of this condition. If left untreated, the blood vessels become weak and damaged. High blood pressure can result in a heart attack, stroke, or an aneurysm. It can also lead to kidney disease or heart failure.
How It Affects the Gums
Many physicians prescribe calcium channel blockers to help control high blood pressure. According to a leading Dentist in St Louis, these medications can lead to swollen gums. This is identified by thick and enlarged gums. They may also become sore or tender. There may not be a significant change in appearance, but swollen gums make it difficult to thoroughly brush and floss. This allows bacteria to build up around the teeth and gums. Statistics have shown that the mouth contains more forms of bacteria than any other part of the human body. This makes complete sense when we consider the various foreign substances introduced by mouth. These bacteria eat away at the bones supporting the teeth and attacks the gums. In effect, swollen gums can lead to tooth loss and serious oral infections.
When faced with the possibility of the life-threatening risks of high blood pressure, people may choose to ignore a symptom as small as swollen gums. This is a mistake. The mouth is our primary tool for sustenance and communication. Thankfully, there are other medications for high blood pressure that do not involve calcium channel blockers. If you notice issues with your gums or teeth, consult your dentist and primary physician as soon as possible. Many times, the symptoms of swollen gums can be completely reversed by changing your medication and minor treatment from a trusted dentist.