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Dental Emergency

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common disease that affects millions of people worldwide today. What makes hypertension so dangerous is that it can result in other secondary disorders such as cardiovascular disease and heart failure, kidney failure, blindness, and transient ischemic attacks or stroke. 

There are three varieties of hypertension. The most common is chronic hypertension, characterized by having a higher-than-average blood pressure most of the time. The second is acute hypertension, characterized by temporary but very high blood pressure. The final variety of hypertension is white-coat hypertension which is usually the variety given to patients who only appear to be hypertensive in the presence of their doctors. 

To diagnose hypertension, you will need to have two blood pressure readings over two separate visits that show higher-than-average blood pressures on both visits. Undergoing dental procedures like teeth removal in Somerville with high blood pressure can be very dangerous, and we’ve discussed the reasons below.

Dental Blood Pressure Guidelines

Regardless of the procedure, a dentist will not perform a procedure or dental work on an individual with systolic or diastolic blood pressure higher than 180 or 109. This is because the risks associated with any dental procedure are far higher when individuals have high blood pressure. 

For example, in a dental procedure like tooth extraction, removing the tooth results in bleeding within the gums. This bleeding can be extremely dangerous and detrimental in individuals with high blood pressure. 

Why Does My Dentist Take My Blood Pressure At Every Visit?

You may have noticed that more and more dentists today provide blood pressure checks at every visit instead of when your dentist might simply refer to your chart or ask if you were on any blood pressure medication. You might wonder why. This is because undergoing dental procedures can cause your blood pressure to spike higher, leading to dangerous medical situations in individuals who already have high blood pressure before dental work. 

Common causes of the spike in blood pressure during dental work may include:

  • Patient’s anxiety about the procedure
  • Pain that the patient may experience during the procedure
  • Local anesthesia: Local anesthesia applied by dentists to numb the mouth can cause an increase in blood pressure. Note, however, that the anesthesia itself does not increase blood pressure. What causes a spike in blood pressure is the presence of substances such as epinephrine in anesthesia, as epinephrine can raise blood pressure. 

One significant advantage of regular blood pressure screening is that high blood pressure can indicate another serious medical condition that usually remains undiagnosed while still at its earliest stages. This condition is diabetes mellitus, and over 66% of people with diabetes mellitus usually have high blood pressure. Regular blood pressure screening can lead to early diagnosis and management of diabetes mellitus. 

What Happens If My Blood Pressure Is Too High For Tooth Extraction?

If your dentist discovers that your blood pressure is high before tooth extraction in Somerville, the procedure will be placed on hold. This is because undergoing a dental procedure like a tooth extraction with high blood pressure dramatically increases the risk of a heart attack or a stroke. There is extra work on the heart to get blood to your organs, and as the blood is significantly thicker, it can easily occlude blood vessels and cause potentially life-threatening blockages. 

Your dentist will refer you to your primary care physician to manage your blood pressure with appropriate medication. Your dental work can continue successfully once your blood pressure falls back to normal levels.

Learn More About High Blood Pressure and Dental Treatment


If you want to learn more about high blood pressure and its effect on dental treatment, you’d like to undergo a dental procedure. Still, if you’re not sure of your current health condition’s impact on your safety, make an appointment with your Somerville dentist or call at (617) 623-8489 today. Your dental professional can discuss possible options with you and educate you on any areas you would like to know more about to begin your journey to maintaining your dental health and refreshing your smile makeover.

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2022-05-13T12:39:56+00:00May 13th, 2022|