The Link Between High Blood Pressure and Oral Health

The Link Between High Blood Pressure and Oral Health

The Link Between High Blood Pressure and Oral Health

May is National High Blood Pressure Awareness month, and your Livonia dentist Dr. James Stewart wants you to know how hypertension can affect your oral health and vice versa. Have you ever wondered why your blood pressure is checked at dental visits? Because hypertension displays very few symptoms in early stages, this condition is often only discovered when a health care provider takes a blood pressure reading. High blood pressure affects one in three Americans and can lead to heart attack, stroke, and organ damage if not caught and treated in time, so the American Dental Association recommends that all dentists check patients’ blood pressure at their initial visit and once a year thereafter to help with early detection of this deadly condition.

Often called the “silent killer,” high blood pressure can show no symptoms until significant damage has already occurred to the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and eyes. If you experience a sudden headache, shortness of breath, blurry vision, nausea, or vomiting, you should call your physician or 911 immediately, as these symptoms may indicate a dangerous elevation in blood pressure. If hypertension is not controlled with medication, diet, and lifestyle changes, it can lead to vision loss, heart attack, or stroke.

Life-saving medications used to control your high blood pressure can cause oral health problems. Xerostomia, or chronic dry mouth, is a side effect of many antihypertensive medicines. Saliva helps balance the pH of the mouth, kill oral bacteria, and neutralize acids that damage tooth enamel. Without enough saliva, you can develop rampant tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, calcium channel blockers used to control hypertension can cause gingival overgrowth, which is characterized by an enlargement and swelling of the gum tissue. Both xerostomia and gingival overgrowth require meticulous oral care, and you may need to see Dr. Stewart for checkups and cleanings more frequently than every six months to prevent serious problems from developing.

Sleep Apnea and High Blood Pressure

Sleep apnea, a condition that causes frequent interruptions in breathing while you sleep, can cause high blood pressure if left untreated. Fortunately, your Livonia sleep dentist offers effective treatment for this serious sleep disorder to help you achieve restful slumber and prevent hypertension. Sleep apnea is often caused by the collapse of the soft tissues in the throat, so keeping the airway open is the key to maintaining a normal breathing pattern while you sleep. Dr. Stewart may offer you a CPAP machine, which delivers air pressure to prevent the throat from collapsing, or an oral appliance to wear while you sleep. Designed to keep your jaw and tongue in optimal position so that the airway remains open, an oral appliance is far more comfortable than and just as effective as a CPAP machine.

If you suspect you have sleep apnea, or if your high blood pressure medications are causing oral health problems, contact our Livonia dentist office at (734) 425-4400. We serve patients from Farmington, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Garden City, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Westland, and the surrounding Livonia communities.

CategoriesSelect CategoryAbout SleepBad BreathCommunity EventsCosmetic DentistryDental ImplantsDental ReconstructionDental TechnologyDenturesDr. StewartFamily DentistryGeneralHealthy LivingJust for FunLivonia General DentistryNutritionOral HealthOSA TreatmentsRestorative DentistrySleep DisordersSleep StudySleeping at WorkTeeth WhiteningTMJAbout the Office 15873 Middlebelt Rd, Ste 100

Sleep Apnea & Snoring Treatment Dr. James Stewart has studied non-surgical sleep apnea treatment and is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. In his Livonia dental office, Dr. Stewart offers many options for sleep apnea treatment. You can improve your quality of life by reclaiming restful sleep. Call 734.425.4400 today to schedule a consultation with Dr. James Stewart.

Sign Up for Email Alerts Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

Share Your Story Share your experience in our office with others. Simply click the button below, and follow the instructions. We appreciate your feedback!