We know that oral health is closely linked to our overall health, and that oral health problems can lead to serious consequences. Sometimes, poor oral health can cause fatal complications. The risk of some serious complications can be worse if you have high blood pressure (hypertension).
For example, you might be at higher risk for deadly brain infections caused by oral bacteria if you have high blood pressure. This makes it even more important that you take care of your oral health when you have high blood pressure.
The Blood-Brain Barrier
An infection in your brain or spine can quickly turn deadly. To try to stop this from happening, your body has a special defense structure that is supposed to keep viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens from entering the brain.
The tight exits from blood vessels are supposed to admit only blood cells, nutrients, and certain other cells into the brain. Cells that are too large to fit through naturally might be recruited by special cells to permit them passage.
However, high blood pressure can damage the blood-brain barrier. Over time, the pressure from blood can wear down the blood-brain barrier. It becomes more porous, and it’s much easier for bacteria to slip across and attack the brain and spine.