Dentists are so very misunderstood. And many people are so leery of going to the dentist, they wait until the pain from untreated dental issues becomes more terrifying than their phobia of the dentist. The irony is that if you keep your routine dental appointments and maintain good oral habits, you are unlikely to ever…
Can Blood Pressure Medications Affect My Dental Checkup?
For most people, going for a dental checkup is a routine activity, but for people dealing with high blood pressure, it is anything but routine because the medication they are taking puts them at an increased risk of having a stroke or heart attack while they are in the dentist’s chair.
Do blood pressure medications affect my dental checkup?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when your blood pressure, which forces blood to flow through your blood vessels, is too high. According to the American Heart Association, almost half of the adults in the United States have high blood pressure but many of them do not know that they have it.
What does my high blood pressure medication have to do with getting a dental checkup?
When it comes to your oral health, some high blood pressure medication can cause dry mouth and alter your sense of taste. Some high blood pressure medications contain calcium channel blockers, which can lead to inflammation of the gums and difficulty chewing.
If you go for a dental checkup while taking high blood pressure medication, you may have a negative reaction to local anesthetics because they contain vasoconstrictors, which can increase your blood pressure more than it already is and lead to irregular heartbeat and heart arrhythmias.
Even after your dental checkup, the effects of your high blood pressure medication can lead to oral problems because having dry mouth prevents the production of saliva, which is important in reducing the growth of bacteria in your mouth. If you have dry mouth and are unable to secrete saliva, you are at an increased risk of having cavities and bad breath. In some cases, the medication you are taking for your high blood pressure can lead to gum disease, which may require surgery to fix.
Can I be treated by a dentist if I am taking high blood pressure medication?
Taking medication for high blood pressure does not mean you cannot go to a dentist for dental checkups, it simply means you have to take every precaution to make sure you do not put your life at risk when you are in the dentist’s chair.
If your blood pressure is really high, you should not go to a dentist unless you have been cleared by your doctor, who will then call your dentist to notify them about your health condition and the medication you are taking.
To be on the safe side, also let your dentist know the names of all the prescription and non-prescription medications you are taking to treat the high blood pressure before you start treatment. If you are still nervous about the dental checkup, talk to both your doctor and dentist about your concerns.
High blood pressure medication can cause problems during dental checkups which is why you need to check with your heart doctor and let your dentist know the names of the medication you are taking to prevent complications while you are in the chair.
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