What to know about High Blood Pressure and your Oral Health

blood pressure monitoring

Poway and Rancho Bernardo, CA

High blood pressure also known as hypertension may affect your ability to receive oral care, but that doesn’t mean you get out of going to see your Poway general dentist. In fact, if you have high blood pressure,good oral care and routine cleanings and checkups are even more important for you and your health. Here’s what you need to know about dental care if you have high blood pressure.

First, let’s take a look at what classifies as high blood pressure. There are two different readings that are at play when reading blood pressure. Systolic pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) is the blood that pumps from your heart into your arteries, and diastolic pressure (the bottom number) measures how long your heart is at rest between beats. Normal blood pressure for younger individuals is around 120/80. If your blood pressure is higher than that, you may have hypertension. High blood pressure is a big problem because it causes damage to your arteries, and increases your risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attacks,and organ damage.

Now, how does all of this relate to getting your teeth cleaned?

The American Diagnostic Corporation released a white paper stating that patients with high blood pressure are at a higher risk of a myocardial infarction or stroke while receiving routine oral care. This is especially true in the event that anesthetics containing epinephrine or other vasoconstrictors are used to numb the patient prior to a procedure. 

Also, if you take blood pressure medication, it can interfere with your oral health. Certain blood pressure medications cause dry mouth,which increases the risk of cavities and gum disease. Saliva is an essential part of the mouth’s ecosystem as it helps rinse away food particles and bacteria that are responsible for cavities and gum disease. Without an adequate flow of saliva, your risks of these oral health diseases increase. However,your dentist in Rancho Bernardo may be able to recommend some products that can combat dry mouth.

Patients with high blood pressure sometimes take calcium blockers. This medication can cause an overgrowth of gum tissue, which can make it difficult to clean your teeth and result in inflamed, red, bleeding gums or gingivitis.

Oral care isimportant for those with hypertension

Now, all of this to say that even those with hypertension still need oral care including routine dental cleanings and any restorative dental needs such as crowns or fillings. However, the take away from this is to know that if you have high blood pressure, be in communication with your dentist about your condition, and let us know what type of medications you are taking so we can provide you with the safest level of treatment possible.

To help reduce the need for restorative care in the firs tplace, practice good oral hygiene at home by brushing twice a day, and flossing daily. Eat a balanced diet, and remember to get your teeth cleaned twice a year.

Dentist in Poway

If you have high blood pressure and are in need of dental care, Smiles by Dr. Cook can help you. We believe there is a significant connection between the mouth and body, which is why we take exceptional care of all of our patients, not just the ones with high blood pressure.

To learn more, please call (858) 673-0141 or contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today. We welcome patients of Poway, and Rancho Bernardo,California.

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