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Why Do Dentists Check Blood Pressure?

July 16, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — stansbury @ 3:20 am

Why does my dentist take my blood pressureWhen you visit your family physician, you expect them to conduct a few routine tasks, like taking your blood pressure. You may not expect the same to occur when you visit your dentist. It’s easy to wonder, why does my dentist take my blood pressure? There isn’t any reason to worry. Although your dental team focuses on your smile, they can use your blood pressure in several ways. Here are just a few reasons why your dentist is checking it.

1. Create a Baseline to Monitor Your Health

When you visit your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup, they do more than just examine your teeth and gums. By taking your blood pressure at each routine visit, they create a baseline to monitor for possible hypertension as the years pass. This can be a key component to detect heart issues early for quick intervention.

2. Create Personalized Treatment Plans

Let’s face it, not everyone is comfortable visiting their dentist. Your dental team may watch your blood pressure during your appointment to monitor your anxiety levels. If you have pain or high anxiety, your blood pressure will rise, which indicates to your dentist they need to adjust your treatment plan to keep you comfortable, such as using sedation.

3. Watch for Drops in Blood Pressure

Besides watching to ensure your blood pressure doesn’t rise, they are also looking to see if it drops. Certain light sedatives can cause your blood pressure to decline. In some cases, patients who are in significant pain can experience a decrease after the source of the discomfort has been resolved, like extracting an infected tooth.

4. Prevent Certain Complications During Treatments

If you need a dental procedure, your blood pressure is crucial to determining your candidacy for the treatment. Typically, blood pressure readings of 140/190 or higher indicate there may be an underlying health issue that should be resolved before moving forward, like beginning blood pressure medications. As a result, your dentist may recommend getting medical approval from your physician.

5. Detect Underlying Health Conditions

Your oral and general health are entwined. Certain dental issues can increase your risk of medical conditions. In particular, gum disease is linked to raising the likeliness of cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure. Not to mention, some medical concerns can heighten the potential for some dental problems, like diabetes. Your dentist can use your blood pressure to detect any undiagnosed health complications to ensure your treatment plan caters to your specific needs for a healthy mouth and body.

Your dentist strives to help you reach optimal wellness. Checking your blood pressure is an important piece to help you achieve your best smile.

About Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury

Dr. Stansbury has over 44 years of experience in dentistry. He understands the mouth and body connection to create individual strategies for each patient through a focus on prevention. If it’s time for your next cleaning and checkup, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

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