ANAHEIM, Calif., U.S./GUANGZHOU, China: Treatment of periodontitis significantly lowered blood pressure among Chinese patients at risk of developing high blood pressure, according to a preliminary study. The research was presented this month at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.
The study compared blood pressure levels after standard and intensive treatment for periodontal disease among 107 Chinese women and men aged 18 years and over with prehypertension (blood pressure on the high end of normal) and moderate to severe periodontitis. Through random assignment, half of the participants received standard treatment and half received intensive treatment. The standard treatment included basic oral hygiene instructions and tooth cleaning with subgingival plaque removal. The intensive treatment included the standard treatment along with cleaning down to the roots under local anesthesia, antibiotic treatment and dental extractions, if necessary.
One month after treatment, systolic blood pressure was nearly three points lower in participants receiving intensive treatment, but no significant difference was observed in diastolic blood pressure. Three months after treatment, systolic blood pressure was nearly eight points lower and diastolic pressure was nearly four points lower in the same patient group. Six months after treatment, systolic blood pressure was nearly 13 points and diastolic blood pressure almost ten points lower in these patients.
“The present study demonstrates for the first time that intensive periodontal intervention alone can reduce blood pressure levels, inhibit inflammation and improve endothelial function,” said study lead author Dr. Jun Tao, head of the department of hypertension and vascular disease and director of the institute of geriatrics research at the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou.