Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Does Dental Work Make Your Blood Pressure Rise?

Hypertension (high blood pressure)—sometimes called the silent killer because of its lack of obvious symptoms—increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney failure, among other problems. If you have your hypertension under control, congratulations. Not only are you managing your overall health, but we can safely clean your teeth and treat your oral health issues. The same applies if you have normal blood pressure and an in-office reading confirms that.

But if you know you have uncontrolled hypertension or you don’t know what your usual blood pressure is and it turns out to be very high, we may not be able to provide dental services to you until your blood pressure improves. Your safety in the dental chair is our priority; if you have very high blood pressure, we’re less able to ensure that safety.
The American Dental Association offers guidelines for blood pressure and dental treatment. A top number (systolic pressure) of less than 120 and a bottom number (diastolic pressure) of less than 80 is considered normal. A reading somewhere between 120/80 to 139/89 may reflect stress or pain (perhaps from the oral discomfort we’ll be treating) but should have no impact on your dental treatment. With a reading between 140/90 to 159/99, we will still perform the necessary dental work but will recommend that you consult a physician.
When your blood pressure is in the 160/100 to 179/109 range, however, you need to consult a physician soon, and we may decide not to perform any invasive procedures that day. With very high blood pressure—a systolic reading of 180 or higher and/or a diastolic reading of 110 or higher—we probably will not work on your teeth even in a dental emergency, although we will provide antibiotics or pain medication if necessary.
Should you or a loved one have hypertension, please consult your physician for treatment options as soon as possible. And be sure to keep your twice-yearly dental appointments. We can provide cleanings that not only benefit your teeth but help keep gingivitis at bay.

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