High Blood Pressure and Dental Procedures

Dental Chair

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, comes in three varieties. The first is the most common, chronic. Those with chronic hypertension have higher-than-average blood pressure most of the time. Acute hypertension refers to temporary, but very high, hypertension. White-coat hypertension is the name given to patients who only seem to have high blood pressure in the presence of their doctors.

A diagnosis of hypertension requires two higher-than-average readings acquired over two separate visits. It can be dangerous to undergo dental procedures with high blood pressure. We will explain why below.

Blood Pressure Guidelines

Generally speaking, a dentist will not perform dental work on a patient who has a systolic blood pressure greater than 180 or a diastolic blood pressure greater than 109. Rather, your dentist will wait on performing the procedure until your blood pressure has been stabilized. The risks concerning a dental procedure are much greater when your blood pressure is this high.

Blood pressure checks are now standard for dental visits

In the past, your dentist would refer to your chart or ask if you were on any blood pressure medication. Today, you’ll find more and more dentists providing in-house blood pressure checks to ensure that their patients are safe prior to any procedure. Why? Because dental work may cause your blood pressure to spike even higher.

Not only can patients be anxious about the procedure they are about to have, but they might also be in pain. Both of those can cause your blood pressure to increase. Dentists also use local anesthesia to numb your mouth, which will also increase your blood pressure. While the anesthesia itself does not raise blood pressure, many anesthesias have epinephrine which prolongs the numbing effect. Epinephrine can raise your blood pressure. Those with high blood pressure may need to have their doses adjusted.

What happens if my blood pressure is too high for dental work?

Your dentist would not perform a medical procedure on you that could potentially cause a heart attack or stroke. Both are possible when your blood pressure is that high. Your heart has to work overtime to get your blood to your organs and because the blood is thicker, it’s much easier to cause a blockage.

If your blood pressure is too high, your dentist will refer you to your primary care physician to stabilize your blood pressure with medication. Once your blood pressure has been stabilized, your dentist will be more than happy to address your teeth.

Learn More About High Blood Pressure and Dental Treatment

Do you want to have a dental procedure performed but are unsure of how your current health conditions may impact your safety? The Sedona dentists at Peak Family Dental Care are more than happy to discuss your options with you and begin the journey of refreshing your smile.

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