Blood Pressure and Your Oral Health

October 09, 2012 | Posted in Education

Undoubtedly, you have heard high blood pressure described as the “silent killer”. The reason for this rather dubious distinction is that most people who suffer from it are not aware of their condition. 

In fact, many people are only made aware they have high blood pressure during a routine visit with their family doctor. However, if you are among the 26% of the local population without a family doctor, you may justifiably question how you might discover if high blood pressure is a problem for you.

Due to this concern, a number of dental offices, including us at Rideau Dental Centre, have started to take the blood pressure of our patients before commencing treatment. If we consider that your blood pressure is too high, it may be unsafe to proceed with your appointment at that time.

We understand that for some patients, visiting your dentist can result in some anxiety.  That may be sufficient to raise your blood pressure. If your blood pressure does return to normal after a short wait in our office, we can safely complete your appointment. However, your health is our number one priority! If we feel it may be compromised by providing dental treatment we will advise against doing so at that time.

Once you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is important that you keep us apprised of your condition. We  need to know what medication you may be taking to control it. This is due to the fact that your medication can have an impact on your oral health.

A common side effect of blood pressure medication is dry mouth, which is the result of the medicine reducing the production of saliva. This can result in periodontal disease or acid erosion of the teeth.

We may have to make some recommendations with respect to your treatment that take into consideration your medication. However, we can only do this if you inform us as to what medication you are on.

It might seem strange at first to have your blood pressure taken at the dental office. But when you understand how your blood pressure, and your medication to treat that blood pressure, can have an impact on your oral health, it actually makes a lot of sense. Because understanding the oral health implications of your high blood pressure is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr.  David Lui

Dental Surgeon