Why Your Blood Pressure Matters to Us

Almost one in three U.S. adults have elevated blood pressure and more than 50% of adults 55 and older have hypertension. Many adults have unrecognized hypertension and some on blood press medications may still not be controlled. Identification of elevated blood pressure in a dental patient and referral to their physician for evaluation is a valuable service we can provide to our patients.

As part of your healthy mouth baseline we perform a blood pressure screening at each dental visit. We also ask that patients have a current list of all medications being taken. Antihypertensive medications cause many oral side effects such as xerostomia (dry mouth) and over growth of gum tissues.

Many people do not see their physician on a regular basis. Identifying if a patient has elevated blood pressure can avoid possible adverse events during or following dental treatment. Measuring your blood pressure prior to any dental procedure is done for preventative measures. Patients whose blood pressure is higher than 160/100 should not have dental work and we refer them to their physician. Diagnosis and treatment of hypertension is beyond our scope of practice but we have an obligation to appropriately manage patients with hypertension to help them achieve overall health and wellness.

How Does Periodontal Disease Affect Our Body?

Our mouth is a gateway to the rest of our body. When disease is present in the oral cavity, it can spread throughout the body affecting our health. And conversely, a healthy oral environment may mean a healthier body.

The healthy mouth baseline we’ve developed is a guideline to identifying conditions in your mouth that are an obstacle to our goal of optimum oral health. We need to examine and evaluate all aspects of our model and make a commitment to everyone having a healthy mouth.

Periodontal or gum disease, one important spoke on a model, is a bacterial infection of the tissues around the teeth that can destroy and lead to bone and tooth loss. Recent studies have found links between gum disease and type 2 diabetes, pregnancy complications, heart disease and stroke. The inflammation and infection travel from the mouth to inflame and infect internal organs.

Regular dental appointments (gum therapy or cleanings) and preventions (brushing, flossing and therapeutic rinses) reduce inflammation and get rid of infection, providing your best chance to keep you teeth, gums, and quite possibly the rest of you healthy.