Your dentist and hygienist are not only concerned with your oral health, but your blood pressure. Sounds odd, but there is actually a link between the health of your teeth and gums to the rest of your body and this makes dental care that much more important.
Blood Pressure Levels
High blood pressure is often called the “silent killer.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimated that almost 30 percent of the U.S. population has high blood pressure and less than half are implementing either diet or medication to control it.
The American Heart Association published guidelines for safe levels of blood pressure in order to perform dental operations. While these are not hard limits, most dentists use these as guidelines. The suggested level of blood pressure is 120/80. However, the range of 120-139 over 80-90 would not necessarily be harmful in dental procedures.
Here’s how your blood pressure ties in to that dental visit:
Pulling. During a typical visit to the dentist for a tooth pulling, one would expect a dose of the local anesthetic in order to numb the area and block the pain. What you may not know is that this anesthetic contains epinephrine. This not only blocks the pain but also controls the bleeding after the procedure. The problem is that it can cause a rapid spike in blood pressure – extremely dangerous and sometimes life threatening for those with high blood pressure.
Implants. The longer the procedure being done, the more your dentist needs to know. In the case of implants, any prescribed blood thinners that a patient is taking need to be made known ahead of time because they can lead to excessive bleedings pre and post-operation.
Feel free to ask Dental Care Center dentists questions about how your health may connect to dental procedures. Please be honest on forms you fill out about medications and medical history so we can provide you the best care for your teeth — and the rest of you.