The percentage of Australians with high blood pressure is rather alarming. One in three Australian adults have high blood pressure, so while it's a common problem, it's also largely an avoidable one. This is why it can be distressing when your doctor tells you that your blood pressure is a cause for concern. It can affect your health in a number of ways, and this includes your oral health.
An Increased Risk
It has been found that there's in fact a clear link between blood pressure and periodontal disease (which is the formal name for gum disease). The link is actually rather troubling. A study found that those with moderate periodontal disease are 22% more likely to be affected by high blood pressure, and those with severe periodontal disease are actually 49% more likely to have high blood pressure. What does this mean for your newly-diagnosed blood pressure issues?
Blood pressure is typically addressed by a number of lifestyle changes. This can include the obvious components, such as cutting down your alcohol consumption (or giving it up entirely), and quitting smoking. Special consideration must be placed on your diet, and you will need to increase the amount of exercise you receive. In addition to these beneficial changes, you should consider how your dentist may be able to help.
Your regular dental checkups are some of your best weapons in the fight against periodontal disease. Do you see your dentist on a regular basis (generally around twice per year)? If you have been a bit laid-back with these appointments, this needs to change immediately. Taking care of your teeth at home only goes so far, and your checkups will include a dental scaling, which is the only way to remove the plaque and tartar that can't be banished with your toothbrush. Keeping this plaque and tartar at bay will give you a tremendous advantage when it comes to avoiding periodontal disease.
Dental Care at Home
You should also assess the effectiveness of your at-home oral care. Your dentist can give you some advice about areas where you might be lacking, but this can actually be rather simple to address. It could be as easy as replacing your manual toothbrush with something more effective, such as an electric sonic toothbrush.
Maintaining a high level of dental health is just one of the ways in which you can focus on your blood pressure and how best to manage it, so those regular checkups become even more important when your blood pressure has gotten out of control. Contact a dentist in your area to learn more.