Why Does My Dentist Need to Take My Blood Pressure?

dentist blood pressure, Venincasa Dental, Dallas dentistWe have been asked at times by patients why we need to take their blood pressure when they come in for a dental appointment. In rarer instances patients have been even aggravated or frustrated by it, perhaps then raising their blood pressure. A few have even said, “You are not even a doctor, why do you need to take my blood pressure?”

Well, to be frank with you, we are required by Texas state law to take blood pressure in several instances. These instances include upon “initial limited physical examination”, prior to “invasive procedures”, as well as upon providing “sedation and anesthesia”. The law applies to all patients over the age of 12. This law may also apply to those under the age of 12 for certain medical conditions. So the first reason why we take your blood pressure is because state laws mandates that we do.

The second reason why we take blood pressure is because we sincerely care for our valued patients. We know that high blood pressure can lead to many problems. And this is very often a condition without symptoms. The complications of high blood pressure include damage to the arteries, the heart, the brain, the kidneys, and to the eyes. High blood pressure may also cause sexual dysfunction not only in men, but also in women. Moreover, high blood pressure may lead to osteoporosis and to sleep apnea.

While high blood pressure is mostly a condition without symptoms, there are times when an emergent situation develops that is associated with high blood pressure. The symptoms of an emergent situation related to high blood pressure may include:

  • Problems with your brain, marked by memory loss, personality changes, trouble concentrating, irritability or progressive loss of consciousness (encephalopathy)
  • Stroke
  • Severe damage to your body’s main artery
  • Seizures in pregnant women
  • Unstable chest pain (angina)
  • Heart attack
  • Sudden impaired pumping of the heart, leading to fluid backup in the lungs resulting in shortness of breath
  • Sudden loss of kidney function

If any of these situations are occurring for an unknown reason, please call 911 or your emergency number immediately.

I certainly hope this clears up why we as dentists are asking to take your blood pressure. If you are interested in a dentist who shows this same level of concern for you as an individual as well as for your oral health, we invite you to contact us by calling (972) 250-2580, or by contacting us in any other method you feel comfortable that is available on this web page.

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