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Brush your teeth (and gums) to prevent high blood pressure

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Keep your teeth and gums healthy.  Inflamed gums and poor teeth—known as periodontal disease—can increase the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) by around 16 percent.

Researchers have identified 10 bacteria in dental plaque that can cause blood pressure levels to rise.  Although it’s a process that can happen in both sexes, the study focused on 1,215 postmenopausal women with an average age of 63.

Researchers from the University of Buffalo tracked the women for 10 years, and around a third of them developed hypertension.  Ten types of oral bacteria were common in all the women who became hypertensive, the researchers found.

Hypertension has been called ‘the silent killer’.  According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of American adults have the problem, and most don’t know it.

But keeping your teeth and gums healthy is one way to reduce the odds.

(Source: Journal of the American Heart Association, 2022; doi: 10.1161/JAHA.121.021930)

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