Everyone knows that high blood pressure is bad news. Dubbed “the silent killer” because its victims often feel no ill effects as the condition progresses, high blood pressure can lead to things such as heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular events.
But did you know that high blood pressure can also have a detrimental impact on your oral health? While this may come as a surprise to many people, it is true. If you have high blood pressure, here is what you need to know in order to protect your mouth.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND DRY MOUTH
Your saliva plays a very important role in your oral health. The constant flowing and circulating of saliva in your mouth throughout the day acts as a washing agent, rinsing away harmful bacteria and keeping their populations in check.
If your mouth is too dry, one effect will be an elevated bacterial population. This can lead to problems with bad breath and increased occurrences of cavities and tooth decay.
So, if you have high blood pressure, be aware that many of the medications you may take for the condition have the side effect of reducing your salivary flow. Simply put, this means you may suffer from a dry mouth and all the complications that come with it.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Talk with your doctor about any blood pressure medications he or she may be considering for you. Ask about potential side effects, and explore alternatives if one of them is dry mouth.
If you do take a medication that has reduced salivary flow as a side effect, you have to be diligent to replace the saliva with more fluids. Make it a point to regularly drink water throughout the day. Keep a glass with you, and practice taking a sip every few minutes. Your mouth will thank you for your efforts!
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (631) 816-2277 today.