Postmenopausal women experiencing tooth loss could be at higher risk of developing high blood pressure - a key risk factor for heart disease, warns a new study.
The study showed that such women had approximately 20 per cent higher risk of developing hypertension compared to other women.
"These findings suggest tooth loss may be an important factor in the development of hypertension," said Jean Wactawski-Wende, Professor at the University at Buffalo in the US.
"Further research may help us to determine the underlying mechanisms by which these two common diseases are associated," Wactawski-Wende added.
The reason could be because people may change their diets to softer and more processed foods as they lose teeth, which could be associated with higher risk of hypertension, the researchers noted.
In addition, multiple studies have suggested an association between periodontal disease and tooth loss with hypertension. However, their relationship remains unclear.
For the study, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, the team included 36,692 postmenopausal women.
Improved dental hygiene among those at risk for tooth loss as well as preventive measures such as closer blood pressure monitoring, dietary modification, physical activity, and weight loss may reduce the risk of hypertension, they suggested.