National Blood Pressure Month The Link Between Hypertension And Oral Health
Hypertension and oral health, they are linked more than you might realize.
Did you know that high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, can affect what kind of oral healthcare you can receive? In fact, most dentists will avoid performing dental treatments on patients with hypertension. In particular, those with high blood pressure will have to consult their medical doctor first before they can receive oral healthcare.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
The average adult normally has a blood pressure reading of 120 below 80. Any bit higher or lower than that is still considered normal. However, if your readings are found consistently and considerably higher than 120/80, then you may be suffering from high blood pressure or hypertension.
What exactly causes hypertension is not yet known. However, researchers and studies have found the risk factors and conditions over the years. This includes smoking, being overweight or obese, lack of physical activity, stress, age, genetics, sleep apnea and so much more.
If left untreated, high blood pressure is dangerous and can be fatal. Because it causes the heart to work much harder than it should be, it can lead to atherosclerosis or the hardening of the arteries. Hypertension has also been linked to stroke, kidney disease, and heart failure.
How Hypertension Affects Your Oral Health
Certain medications also put patients at risk of suddenly fainting when standing or sitting up quickly.
Start Your Treatment Today
At Lane & Associates Family Dentistry, we not only check your blood pressure, but also offer oral cancer screenings, oxygen level checks, and pulse checks. The combination of these factors & our many other services, lets us know how best to treat our patients and make their experience with us truly one that makes them smile. If you are looking for a dentist that takes your overall health seriously, contact us today!
This Common Dental Problem Gives You High Blood Pressure
If you walk into your doctors office and your blood pressure is high, chances are youll be told to eat less salt. And if your reading is higher than 130/80, its likely youll be prescribed a blood pressure drug.
But a new study shows that hypertension in many people may be caused by a common dental problem. And in these patients, eating less salt and taking blood pressure drugs dont work.
Researchers at the University of LAquila in Italy reviewed the dental and medical records of more than 3,600 people. They found that people with gum disease, also known as periodontitis, were more likely to have high blood pressure. 1
And they discovered that gum disease sufferers often have treatment-resistant hypertension. This means they have trouble lowering their blood pressure with medications or lifestyle changes like cutting salt.2
The study found that when people with gum disease take hypertension meds, their blood pressure goes down less than half as much as it does for patients who dont have gum disease.3
Dr. Davide Pietropaoli was lead author. He said doctors should be aware that good oral health is just as important in lowering blood pressure as exercise, a low-salt diet, controlling weight, and taking medications.
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Anesthesia Could Affect Your Blood Pressure
Local anesthetics are often used in dentistry to block pain in a specific area while receiving treatment. Many anesthetics include epinephrine, known to constrict blood vessels, which could be detrimental to a patients health when they have high blood pressure. In these cases, an epinephrine-free anesthetic may be used. If you inform your Bloomsburggeneral dentists that you have high blood pressure, we can adjust your care to ensure your safety and comfort.
Reasons Why Your High Blood Pressure Matters To Your Dentist
The dentists office can be an uncomfortable environment to be in, especially if youre there for more than just a regular cleaning and check-up. And while there are plenty of ways to make your visit more comfortable like these tips for managing your dental anxiety theres another factor at play: your blood pressure.
Why is high blood pressure important?
Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, is a chronic illness affecting more than a billion people worldwide and is especially prevalent in Americans 80 million, to be exact. Hypertension is asymptomatic, meaning that unless youre regularly checking your blood pressure, you may not know you have it until its too late.
The other name for hypertension? The silent killer. In fact, research conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that undiagnosed and untreated hypertension can shorten lifespans by 10-20 years.
The American Heart Association recommends that adults have regular blood pressure screenings with readings of < 120/80. When your blood pressure begins to climb, its important to get in contact with your primary care physician to regularly monitor and control your hypertension with antihypertensive medications.
Why does hypertension matter to my dentist?
Hypertension combined with dental treatment is something to avoid.
Local anesthesia can affect your blood pressure.
Regular screenings could save your life.
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Why Hygienists Should Take The Blood Pressure Of Every Patient
Let me ask you a question: how many of you take blood pressure readings on your patients before beginning treatment? For those of you who take blood pressure readings on your patients, bravo to you! You have my respect you may now skip the rest of this article, pass Go, and collect $200. But for those of you who now find yourselves blushing in embarrassment, as I once did when posed this question, I urge you to continue reading.
A majority of hygienists that I have asked this question admit that they do not take blood pressure readings on their patients.
Until quite recently, I had not used a blood pressure cuff since graduating hygiene school four years ago. As dental hygienists, we are taught from the beginning that we should take our patients blood pressures before beginning treatment. We are healthcare providers after all, so why are so many of us neglecting to do it? Why are we ignoring blood pressure readings as a key component of the comprehensive health history review that we should perform at each appointment?
I would wager my favorite scaler that time is a big factor here. If there is one thing you learn in hygiene school, one single thing that becomes a part of your dental hygienist core, it is this: manage your time efficiently. And we dowell, we try to anyway. Many of us find ourselves working in a profession in which we are being asked to do more with less time to do it. It is a sad, but apparently common trend in dentistry these days.
Your Safety Is Important
Undergoing a dental procedure with very high blood pressure could result in threatening situations like kidney failure, heart attack, or stroke. Therefore, dentists are now taking their patients blood pressure before doing dental procedures. If your dentist sees that your blood pressure is high, he/she will recommend that you seek additional medical care from your physician.
Even if youre already taking a prescribed hypertension medication, your dentist will still monitor your blood pressure before, during, or after a dental procedure. Managing hypertension is critical for your dental and general health. Dentists are very careful to avoid potential problems due to your health condition.
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Reasons For Blood Pressure Checks During Dental Visits
You may have been surprised by a new addition to your regular dental appointment routinewe took your blood pressure at the start. While you might expect this at a medical clinic, it seems unusual at the dentists office.
But not anymore: blood pressure checks at dental offices are quickly becoming routine, including during regular cleanings and checkups. Here are 3 reasons why checking your blood pressure is now part of your dental visit experience.
Your blood pressure could be an issue during dental work. While we do everything possible to make you comfortable, undergoing dental work can create stressful feelings. Blood pressure normally increases when stress occurs, including before dental procedures. If you already have issues with hypertension , any circumstance that might increase it could lead to health problems or even an emergency like a stroke. If your blood pressure is high, we may forgo any planned procedures and refer you to a physician for further examination.
Local anesthesia can affect blood pressure. Local anesthesia is an important part of dental workwithout it we couldnt provide maximum comfort during procedures. But many anesthetics include epinephrine, which helps prolong the numbing effect. Epinephrine also constricts blood vessels, which in turn can elevate blood pressure. We may need to adjust the anesthesia drugs and dosages we use in your case if you have high blood pressure.
Recommendations And Dental Care
The new guidelines lower the definition of high blood pressure to 130/80 mm Hg for adults. This new definition broadens what defines disease, encompassing people who were previously considered healthy. Approximately 46% of US adults now have hypertension compared with about 32% under the former high blood pressure definition.24 Normal blood pressure is now considered below 120/80 mm Hg and elevated blood pressure is 120 mm Hg to 129 mm Hg systolic with a diastolic pressure below 80 mm Hg. Stage 1 hypertension is between 130 mm Hg and 139 mm Hg, or 89 mm Hg and 89 mm Hg and stage 2 hypertension is 140/90 mm Hg or higher . The new guidelines include recommendations for the way health professionals take blood pressure measurements, stressing the importance of using validated devices, allowing patients to rest for 5 minutes before taking their blood pressure, averaging at least two readings over two visits, and highlighting the value of appropriate training for health professionals to reveal white-coat hypertension.9,25 White-coat hypertension, also known as white coat syndrome, occurs when patients exhibit blood pressure levels above the normal range in a clinical setting due to anxiety.
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What Happens If My Blood Pressure Is Too High For Dental Work
Your dentist would not perform a medical procedure on you that could potentially cause a heart attack or stroke. Both are possible when your blood pressure is that high. Your heart has to work overtime to get your blood to your organs and because the blood is thicker, its much easier to cause a blockage.
If your blood pressure is too high, your dentist will refer you to your primary care physician to stabilize your blood pressure with medication. Once your blood pressure has been stabilized, your dentist will be more than happy to address your teeth.
Can My Blood Pressure Be Too High
Unfortunately, if your blood pressure is 140/90 or above, you may not be a candidate for a certain dental procedure until after your hypertension has been resolved. Every case is unique, so your dentist will consider several factors to determine if you can safely have dental work performed, like the type of procedure and the severity of your hypertension.
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Angiotensin Ii Receptor Blockers
Angiotensin II receptor blockers are a group of antihypertensive agents that selectively inhibit angiotensin II via competitive inhibition of the angiotensin II receptor. This causes a vasodilatory response of the blood vessels in the glomerulus and a concomitant drop in blood pressure. Drugs prescribed in this category are irbesartan, candesartan, telmisartan, olmesartan, losartan, and valsartan. Adverse effects present similarly to ACEIs however, cough and angioedema are significantly less. Losartan, due to its association with the cytochrome P450 system, is potentially likely to interfere with other drugs, such as cimetidine, fluconazole, indomethacin, phenobarbital, and rifampin.
Dental Office Blood Pressure Screeningcoral Gables Fl
Complete health dentists understand the oral-systemic link and implement it throughout their practice. Accordingly, they conduct a blood pressure screening during every dental visit to ensure the body is ready for treatment. A blood pressure test can reveal much about the patients health and well-being and may even determine whether they will undergo a dental procedure or not.
During the initial consultation appointment, a standard procedure typically involves a blood pressure check, a thorough examination of the mouth and body, a medical history review, and X-rays. By checking blood pressure every visit, we can help determine any lifestyle changes that may have a negative impact on ones health. Patient inclusion is of high priority, and we will discuss what a patients screening means and how treatments will progress thereafter.
Information on dental blood pressure screenings is available at Bushdid Smiles in Coral Gables and the surrounding area. We can discuss the importance of checking blood pressure and how it affects your overall health. Call us at 740-1443 to schedule a consultation appointment to go over how the screening may affect your dental treatment.
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Can Dental Problems Cause High Blood Pressure
As humans, our bodies react differently when we are in pain or experiencing high anxiety. If you have high blood pressure, your dentist may need to adjust your treatment plan. Once determined, your dentist can make a better customized treatment plan for your specific needs.
For example, some dentists may be able to offer light sedation options for those patients who have high anxiety which is causing their blood pressure to rise. Additionally, patients who are in pain from a tooth that needs to be extracted will see a drop in their blood pressure after that painful tooth has been removed.
In extremely hypertensive situations, however, you may be asked to visit your primary care physician to discuss ways to reduce your blood pressure before beginning any dental care treatment.
Causes Of High Blood Pressure
People of all ages are susceptible to hypertension or heart attacks. Usually, for kids, birth defects such as small arteries or enclosed valves cause heart attacks. For older people, hypertension happens during dental cleaning due to stress and breathing problems. In the worst cases, a patient may feel symptoms such as heart attacks when there is an underlying issue of periodontal disease. It is important for a person to watch their lifestyle because of a lack of exercise, too much alcohol consumption, or eating fatty foods may bring about other health concerns.
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Local Anesthetics Contain Epinephrine
Epinephrine is an endogenous substance, meaning it is created naturally in the body and distributed as a part of our bodys fight or flight response. Epinephrine increases blood pressure in order to assist the body in reacting to emergency situations.
When a dentist uses a local anesthetic or numbing cream containing epinephrine, it can cause your blood pressure to increase. If a dentist doesnt check your blood pressure and uses a local anesthetic, an individual may be put at risk for a medical emergency. Often, patients have no symptoms of high blood pressure and are unaware. Being able to provide an extra touchpoint for medical safety is important for our patients. While the effects of raising the blood pressure to an unsafe level may not be seen in the chair, the patient could have an episode at home or later in the day.
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.
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Poor Oral Health Linked To Higher Blood Pressure Worse Blood Pressure Control
- Poor oral health may interfere with blood pressure control in people diagnosed with hypertension.
- Periodontal disease a condition marked by gum infection, gum inflammation and tooth damage appears to worsen blood pressure and interferes with hypertension treatment.
- Study findings underscore the importance of good oral health in blood pressure control and its role in preventing the adverse cardiovascular effects known to stem from untreated hypertension.
Embargoed 4 a.m. CT / 5 a.m. ET Monday, October 22, 2018
DALLAS, October 22, 2018 People with high blood pressure taking medication for their condition are more likely to benefit from the therapy if they have good oral health, according to new research in the American Heart Associations journal Hypertension.
Findings of the analysis, based on a review of medical and dental exam records of more than 3,600 people with high blood pressure, reveal that those with healthier gums have lower blood pressure and responded better to blood pressure-lowering medications, compared with individuals who have gum disease, a condition known as periodontitis. Specifically, people with periodontal disease were 20 percent less likely to reach healthy blood pressure ranges, compared with patients in good oral health.
Hypertension is estimated to affect up to 40 percent of people over age 25 worldwide.
About the American Heart Association
Carrie Thacker: 214-706-1665
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.
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