April 25, 2022

Why They Take Your Blood Pressure at the Dentist

Did you know that your oral health has a connection to your overall health? Well, it does! Taking blood pressure at the dental office is a perfect opportunity for dental professionals to check that! The reading helps determine whether you have abnormal blood pressure or are within normal range. The most common abnormal readings discovered at the dental office are HIGH blood pressure readings.

What is Hypertension?

According to the American Heart Association, “High blood pressure (also referred to as hypertension) is when your blood pressure, the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels, is consistently too high.” High blood pressure is often referred to as “the silent killer” because generally there are no obvious symptoms. According to the AHA, “Nearly half of American adults have it and don’t even know it!”

Certain physical traits and lifestyle choices can increase the chances of high blood pressure and if left untreated, it can lead to even more serious situations like a heart attack, stroke, and other major health issues. So what’s the best way to know if you have high blood pressure? Get it checked!

Blood Pressure in the Dental Office

Dental professionals have a really unique and perfect opportunity to use the blood pressure readings to identify hypertension and other medical concerns such as:

  • Detection of the early stages of hypertension. The chart below from American Heart Association is great reference which categorizes readings and advises when it is important to seek medical attention.
  • In regard to pregnant women, a blood pressure reading can help indicate preeclampsia which is a critical pregnancy complication induced by HBP.
  • If a patient has high blood pressure, it may also indicate other serious medical conditions such as diabetes.
  • Blood pressure readings are important for dental professionals to determine the appropriate local anesthetic for dental injections. If a blood pressure reading is too high, then it is recommended to avoid the use of local anesthetic that contains epinephrine. Reason being, epinephrine tends to increase heart rate.
  • Occasionally, a high pressure reading can indicate stress-induced reactions or nervousness in a dental setting. Taking blood pressure at the beginning of a dental appointment can initiate certain protocols to keep the patient stress free and make them feel safe during the dental appointment.

In conclusion, it is important for a blood pressure reading to be taken at dental appointments. It’s even saved lives! If you have any questions, please drop those in the comment section of the YouTube video linked below.