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EFFECTS OF MEDICATIONS

PATIENTS TAKING MEDICATION FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE BENEFIT FROM DENTAL CARE

CHICAGO – September 27, 1999 – Many patients putting off a trip to the dentist can add "a reason to go" to their list.

A study released today in the Journal of Periodontology suggests that frequent dental visits following initial periodontal treatment may significantly reduce gingival overgrowth in patients taking nifedipine, a commonly prescribed medication for high blood pressure. Gingival overgrowth is a condition in which the gums become swollen and "grow over" the teeth.

The study found that gingival overgrowth recurrence was eliminated in more than half of patients with a combination of initial periodontal therapy, including surgical and non-surgical treatments, followed by more frequent dental visits (every three months). This regimen appeared to affect recurrence more than previously known risk factors, such as gender, drug type, and duration of drug therapy.

These study findings are a significant advancement to earlier research, which concluded that the development and recurrence of gingival overgrowth could be minimized, but not prevented, with periodontal therapy and frequent dental visits.


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