Hypertension (high blood pressure) is referred to as a silent killer. Dangerous enough to lead to heart attacks and strokes, high blood pressure doesn’t carry symptoms for most people. That’s why acquiring a blood pressure reading is something your general physician will do, usually at the start of every single appointment. Even with as diligent as doctors are in checking blood pressure, a whopping 66.9 million Americans have hypertension. Your Farmington Hills dentist, Dr. Aziza Askari, explains why your dentist might be interested in taking a blood pressure reading the next time you’re in for a dental appointment.
What Constitutes High Blood Pressure?
Broken into two numbers – systolic and diastolic – an ideal blood pressure reading should read somewhere below 120mm/80mm. Any reading above 160/100 is considered high, and will warrant a discussion of lifestyle changes and possibly medication, with your doctor. Obesity, diets high in fat, sugar, and sodium, lack of exercise, and high stress are all contributors to high blood pressure. Losing weight, eating a healthy diet with a high quantity of plant-based foods, and meditation and yoga would all be ways to bring your blood pressure down. Sometimes a patient needs more than just tweaks in diet and exercise, or can’t seem to stick with the changes. In these cases, various medications from water pills to beta-blockers might be prescribed by your general physician.
What Do Dentists Have to do With Blood Pressure?
Many people experience heightened anxiety when they go to the dentist (especially if they’re scheduled for a procedure more involved than just an exam and cleaning). Fear and discomfort can spike blood pressure, and raise stroke and heart attack risks. Dentists are also doctors, and they don’t just care about your teeth – they care about your overall health. Your dentist will want to be sure that you’re in good physical condition during your appointment. If hypertension is uncovered by your dentist, and you didn’t know about it, you’ll be able to see your doctor right away to create an action plan to bring your blood pressure down. Sometimes your dentist will choose to postpone a dental procedure if your pressure is too high, for your own safety.
A good dentist will always prioritize your health and safety over everything. If you would like to schedule an appointment for any of your general dentistry needs, contact our Farmington Hills dentist office at (248)474-6434. We are happy to provide comprehensive dentistry to patients from Farmington Hills, Dearborn, Novi, Livonia, Detroit, the 48335 zip code, and surrounding neighborhoods.