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Why Does My Dentist Check My Blood Pressure? And Other Dental Visit Mysteries

Your dental appointment is intended to check the health of your teeth, so why does the dentist check your blood pressure every time you go in for a cleaning? The answer is more complex than you might imagine. There is a lot more to a dental check- up than just a look inside your mouth, and you might be surprised at just how important disclosing your medical history is when it comes to dental care.

Checking Your Blood Pressure at the Dentist

Your dentist checks your blood pressure for a few reasons. First and foremost, it is important to determine that your vital signs are within normal limits before performing dental work. High blood pressure can cause problems such as bleeding during dental treatment or surgery. High blood pressure can reach unsafe levels during treatment, increasing the risk for serious problems such as heart attack or stroke. Making sure it is within normal limits is a precaution.

Your Medical History Is Important In Dentistry

Your dentist needs to know your complete medical history in order to provide you with appropriate diagnosis and treatment for your dental condition. Some important pieces of information about your dental health that can affect your diagnosis and treatment are daily medications, alcohol, tobacco or drug use, certain health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis and heart valve problems.

It is important to disclose your health information as completely as possible to your dentist so she can provide dental care in the safest manner possible. Certain medications must be stopped prior to dental treatment. Some health conditions can display symptoms inside the mouth, and can be accurately diagnosed if a complete medical history has been disclosed. Allergies to medications must be considered.

Heart valve problems which are not considered prior to receiving dental care can lead to a serious infection in the heart. These are just a few important health concerns your dentist must consider in order to provide safe, effective dental care.

Patients With Certain Health Conditions Are Prone To Specific Dental Problems

Some dental problems can be affected or even caused by other health problems or systemic diseases. Patients with diabetes are more prone to developing gum disease. Effective treatment of the gum disease can help keep the diabetes controlled, and vice versa. A history of osteoporosis especially combined with the use of medications designed to help control it (bisphosphonates) can cause problems with healing following dental surgery.

Some medications can cause symptoms such as dry mouth, ulcerations and changes in the oral tissue. These are a few among the many health conditions that play an important role in your dental care.

Your Health Is Important

Your dentist is concerned about your well-being as well as your dental health. It is extremely important to communicate effectively with your dentist about your health conditions and concerns prior to undergoing dental treatment. Now, when you are asked to complete a medical history questionnaire or have your blood pressure checked prior to your dental appointment, you will know why.Have more questions about how your overall health affects your dental health? Contact us, leave a comment or find us on facebook! We love to hear from you!

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