Checking Blood Pressure Before Dental Appointments

Blood pressure readings are a routine part of annual physical exams, but they have become a standard of care at the dentist office. When patients see our providers at Great Lakes Dental, they can expect to have their blood pressure checked before any extensive dental care is performed and for routine cleanings.

Taking these readings helps determine whether or not patients have blood pressure that is too high, which might result in having to postpone cleanings and other types of dental work until it is within a normal range. Having these readings taken also offers other advantages.

Early Warnings Signs

Patients typically go to the dentist office more often than they see their doctor for routine exams. This offers additional opportunities for patients to have their blood pressure checked.

For patients who do not have regular physical exams done, having blood pressure readings taken during dental exams can help them find out that they have abnormal readings. If this is the case, patients can then make an appointment with their doctor to have high blood pressure, or hypertension, diagnosed and managed with medication and other forms of treatment.

Since this can significantly reduce the risk of complications resulting from high blood pressure, such as heart attacks, these readings are an important part of dental appointments.

Blood Pressure and Oral Hygiene

Patients with high blood pressure might not be able to have dental work performed until their readings are brought down to a safer level. Undergoing dental work, including cleanings, fillings or root canals, can result in an increase in blood pressure levels, which raises the risk of having serious health complications, such as heart attacks.

Depending on how high readings are, dentists might have patients sent to the emergency room or recommend seeing a doctor for treatment. Patients should also keep in mind that high blood pressure medications can affect oral health. Some of these medications can cause problems such as a dry mouth, which can lead to a higher risk of tooth decay.

Patients with high blood pressure might also be affected by the use of local anesthetics, which can constrict blood vessels temporarily. In some cases, the use of these anesthetics will need to be limited to prevent health emergencies or complications for those with high blood pressure.

Our team cares about you and your overall health. If it is time for your next exam and cleaning, please contact Great Lakes Dental for an appointment.