4 Reasons Your Dentist Takes Your Blood Pressure

July 12, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — flowermounds @ 3:01 pm
Young woman smiling in dentist chair up at dentist

On the surface, a blood pressure screening seems like it has nothing to do with your teeth or oral health. You might be thinking, “Why does my dentist have to take my blood pressure?” as you’re sitting in the dental chair waiting for your doctor. You already get your blood pressure checked during your annual physical, and this isn’t a medical clinic, it’s a dentist’s office. However, having your blood pressure taken is an essential component of every appointment. Here are 4 reasons your dentist takes your blood pressure.

1. Establishing a Baseline

You should be seeing your dentist for a routine checkup every six months, and this may be more often than you might see your regular physician. Your dentist can establish a regular baseline for your blood pressure to monitor any changes. Your dentist will be able to notice and alert you to any significant variations that could indicate an underlying issue sooner than your doctor may be able to.

2. Getting an Overall Wellness Check

A blood pressure screening can catch the first indication of hypertension. It’s known by many names, like “the silent killer” or high blood pressure. About 30% of Americans are affected by hypertension, and it causes around 60,000 deaths a year. It often goes unnoticed because it is asymptomatic in most cases. Since you’re regularly seeing your dentist, your blood pressure check is one more opportunity to look out for signs of high blood pressure. Then, you can better control it to avoid more serious conditions like diabetes or heart disease.

3. Local Anesthesia Can Impact Your Blood Pressure

You might get local anesthesia to feel more comfortable while getting dental work done. Many anesthetics contain epinephrine, a substance created and distributed naturally within the body as part of the fight-or-flight response. Epinephrine constricts blood vessels, which can cause your blood pressure to increase. Measuring your blood pressure at the start of your appointment gives your dentist the chance to adjust what anesthetics and dosages to use so as to not raise your blood pressure to an unsafe level.

4. Dental Anxiety Affects Blood Pressure

Undergoing dental work can cause stress and anxiety in anyone, which can raise your blood pressure. It can be uncomfortable to have someone prodding around your mouth and being in your personal space, especially when you have to sit still. If you exhibit elevated blood pressure that isn’t caused by another health concern during your appointments, your dentist may recommend a form of sedation dentistry to lower your blood pressure and help keep you calm and comfortable during your treatment.

About the Author

Dr. Lauri Barge and her amazing team provide quality dental care to catch and prevent problems at their earliest signs, so you can have a stress-free smile. To protect your oral health, Dr. Barge is pleased to offer dental checkups and teeth cleanings, oral cancer screenings, fluoride treatments, dental sealants, and mouthguards. If you are looking to maintain your smile for years to come, contact Dr. Barge at her website or by phone at (972) 539-3800.