Poway and Rancho Bernardo, CA
If you have high blood pressure, you are at a greater risk of stroke, heart disease, metabolic problems, and even cognitive issues—among other ailments. Did you know, however, that your blood pressure also could impact your ability to receive oral health care? High blood pressure known as hypertension may affect a patient’s ability to receive certain dental work without first getting a health assessment from their doctor. Your local Poway family dentist at Smiles by Dr. Cook wants to educate you on these risks, with this list of need-to-know information about the link between hypertension and oral health, and provide you with tips to keep your mouth healthy.
The 411 on high blood pressure
Two forces are measured to take your blood pressure: systolic, defined as the blood pumping out of your heart into your arteries; and diastolic, the heart resting between beats. Normal blood pressure readings for individuals who are at least 20 years old should be below 120 systolic and 80 diastolic. If blood pressure readings consistently register higher than those two thresholds, then you likely have hypertension.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 75 million American adults—or one out of every three—suffer from high blood pressure. Moreover, the latest CDC statistics estimate that just more than half of those individuals have their hypertension under control.
In addition to being more susceptible to the ailments listed above, patients with high blood pressure face a higher risk of blood clots and organ damage. High blood pressure also results in arterial plaque buildup, and weakening of the blood vessels.
How hypertension impacts dental health
Patients with hypertension can be at risk under the influence of certain types of local anesthetics that are used in dentistry. For example, any local anesthesia that uses a vasoconstrictor like epinephrine can increase blood pressure and heart arrhythmia in a patient with hypertension. Thus, a patient who receives one of these anesthetics before a dental procedure may have a higher risk of suffering a stroke or myocardial infarction.
Certain medications used to treat hypertension also can have a negative impact on your oral health. For example, some prescriptions used to treat high blood pressure may have side effects such as dry mouth, which increases the risk of tooth decay. Any blood pressure medication with calcium blockers may cause overgrowth of the gums, which could impede the ability to chew and may even require periodontal surgery or laser gum recontouring to correct.
If you are being treated for hypertension, be sure to notify your dentist of your condition. Remember, just because you have high blood pressure that does not mean you should neglect your oral health, as poor oral health can exacerbate your hypertension by making symptoms worse.
It is important to maintain a healthy regimen of oral hygiene, which includes brushing twice a day and flossing daily, as well as receiving your routine dental checkups and cleanings twice per year to maintain a healthy mouth and body.
Family Dentist in Poway
To schedule an appointment with your local Poway dentist, please call (858) 673-0141 or contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today. We welcome patients of Poway and Rancho Bernardo, California.