Why do dentists take your blood pressure?

May 20, 2019

May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month. This month aims to save lives by increasing awareness and educating the public about cardiovascular risks and how to prevent them. By encouraging everyone to take at least one heart healthy action today, we can raise awareness of and potentially reduce high blood pressure across the state. Getting your blood pressure checked for the first time this year, asking someone you love to get their blood pressure checked or even going for a long walk can help.

Why we take your blood pressure

Blood pressure measures the force on the arterial walls as the heart pumps blood throughout the body. Normal blood pressure is essential for life. Oxygen or nutrients could not be delivered through the vessels and into the tissues and organs without the pressure to drive the blood through the circulatory system. Blood pressure also aids in distributing white blood cells throughout the body so they can protect the body against illness and disease.

Blood pressure readings are required to choose the appropriate local anesthetic for dental injections. Measuring blood pressure is also an easy way for us as dental care professionals to show patients that we are committed to their overall health. We can potentially save lives by identifying undiagnosed or uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension) and refer individuals to their physicians when treatment is indicated.

High blood pressure is often called “the silent killer” because it typically has no symptoms until the heart and arteries are damaged. Studies from the CDC state that in 2008, 20 million Americans saw their dentists, but not their physicians, making the dental appointment an important (and maybe the only) opportunity to check blood pressure.

By taking your blood pressure, we can catch diabetes early, identify hypertension and help reduce pregnancy complications.

Questions or concerns? Let’s talk!

If you’re concerned about high blood pressure or have additional questions for your dentist – don’t be a stranger. Give us a call or open a chat with us, and we’ll be happy to help you get the answers you need.

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