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Why Is Your Dentist in Cape May County Taking Your Blood Pressure?

Patient having blood pressure taken

Modern life is busy – and many people find it difficult to simply schedule their dental visits, let alone carve out an hour from their busy day to go to them! That’s why it’s not uncommon for people to feel impatient when a dental assistant goes to take their blood pressure. Why take another few minutes for it when the dentist is there to treat their teeth, not their blood pressure? You might be surprised to hear it, but there are actually many good reasons that a dentist in Cape May County takes your blood pressure. Keep reading to learn how this simple task can benefit both your dental health and overall health!


MOST PATIENTS SEE A DENTIST MORE OFTEN THAN A MEDICAL DOCTOR

It’s not uncommon for some patients to go years without seeing a medical doctor, but they see their dentist twice a year for checkups. That makes these visits ideal for a simple, quick screening that can potentially alert them to the fact that they have high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is known as a “silent killer” because, even though it doesn’t cause pain, it can seriously damage the blood vessels, heart, kidneys, eyes and more. It’s crucial to discover it as early as possible so it can be managed from the start.

DENTISTS NEED TO KNOW YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT ANESTHETIC

There are various types of local anesthetic and each is slightly different. Some have epinephrine to help the numbing effect last longer, but it causes a rapid heart rate in some patients.

It’s dangerous to give a patient with high blood pressure epinephrine because it causes their blood pressure to become even higher.

IT JUST MIGHT SAVE YOUR LIFE

Again, since people don’t necessarily feel high blood pressure, it can sneak into ranges that put them at immediate risk for a stroke, heart attack, aneurysm and more.

There have been many cases where dentists have discovered a patient has dangerously high blood pressure and have gotten them emergency medical care in time to prevent a life-threatening event from occurring.

IT CAN INDICATE THE NEED FOR STRESS MANAGEMENT DURING DENTAL VISITS

Some patients don’t realize just how nervous they are when they go to the dentist. Their bodies go into fight-or-flight in the dental chair, which makes their experience stressful and unpleasant.

By knowing that a patient has high blood pressure, dentists can recommend stress management techniques, such as nitrous oxide, breathing exercises or listening to music during procedures.

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to your health. Thankfully, taking your blood pressure before a dental visit is quick, easy and non-invasive – which makes it a no-brainer!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Scott J. Maslow is a dentist in Cape May County who makes it a priority to provide comprehensive dental care to every patient. He wants to do everything he can to help his patients have great oral and overall health, and knows that taking their blood pressure is an important part of that. If you have any questions, he can be reached via his website or at (609) 522-3145.

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