MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Rita Del Pinto, MD
University of L’Aquila
Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences,
L’Aquila – Italy
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: There is a wealth of literature in support of a role for inflammation behind cardiovascular risk factors and diseases. One relatively poorly explored field is that of oral diseases, namely periodontitis, as a potential source of low-grade, chronic inflammation. Previous studies had described a beneficial effect of periodontal treatment on blood pressure; we extended current knowledge with our findings on over 3600 treated hypertensive adults with and without periodontitis, showing a significant benefit over systolic blood pressure behavior and control in the presence of a good periodontal health.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Oral care can be an additional non-pharmacological strategy, together with dietary and lifestyle measures, to control blood pressure. In fact, the magnitude of benefit observed is similar to that related to 6g salt reduction, or to some types of regular physical exercise. Some ethnic groups, in addition, are more prone to both hypertension and periodontitis: thus, a complementary approach that benefits both could be particularly desirable.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: These findings need testing in dedicated trials exploring the effects of periodontal treatment on blood pressure in a controlled setting. Their persistency over time should be also assessed.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: The extent of inflammation in the presence of periodontitis can equal the size of the palm of one’s hand, which is a considerable source of inflammation. The contribution of oral care specialists to global health should not be discarded.
Thank you for your interest in our paper
Davide Pietropaoli, Rita Del Pinto, Claudio Ferri, Jackson T. WrightJr, Mario Giannoni, Eleonora Ortu, and Annalisa Monaco
Originally published 22 Oct 2018Hypertension. 2018;0:HYPERTENSIONAHA.118.11528
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