May is National Blood Pressure Awareness Month. Sure, there is a “National Awareness Month” for everything if you look hard enough, but are you aware of the importance of your blood pressure?
Many people don’t pay attention to their blood pressure, but at Murray Hill Dental, we take your blood pressure very seriously. You may be wondering why your dentist cares so much about your blood pressure; here are a few reasons we’re taking your blood pressure at your visits:
Decrease Risk of Serious Health Conditions
First and foremost, monitoring your blood pressure could improve health and save your life. Early diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension) can lead to the avoidance of more serious conditions such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke. You have likely noticed that your healthcare provider regularly checks your blood pressure during routine visits. Because symptoms of hypertension can be subtle, they often go undetected. This is why a blood pressure screening check is frequently the first sign of the underlying issue. The practice of recording your blood pressure at your dental visits is one more opportunity to find this out.
Impact of Anesthesia on Blood Pressure
Although the use of local anesthesia makes dental work much more comfortable, it can have an effect on your blood pressure. Epinephrine, which extends the numbing effect and is a component of several anesthetics, constricts blood vessels, which subsequently can increase blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure, it’s good for us to know so that we may adjust the dosages we use during your visit if needed.
Increased Blood Pressure from Stress
It is not uncommon for some people to experience stress about having dental work done. While we strive to make your experience as comfortable possible, anxious feelings can still arise; this can trigger an increase in your blood pressure. Although this is normally not a cause for alarm, if you already have hypertension, a rise in pressure can lead to serious health issues. This is why we chart your blood pressure at each visit if we notice a significant increase in your pressure; we may reschedule your dental work, and refer you to your primary care physician.
If you would like more information on monitoring vital signs during dental visits, please call our office or click here to schedule an appointment for a consult today.