Have you ever experienced a visit to the doctor’s office and your blood pressure (BP) read abnormally high?
Thoughts that probably crossed your mind were, “my pressure has never been bad,” “it’s the white coat syndrome” or “that machine is broken!”
A sudden rise can be frustrating, and one may attribute it to stress, anxiety, fear or even pain. Instead of being evaluated for an existing toothache, you end up requiring a cardiac workup before any surgical intervention is considered.
Why the change in plan? If left untreated, high BP, or hypertension, can result in heart disease and stroke— the top two leading causes of death in Americans.
Did you know you could have hypertension and not experience any signs and symptoms
One may experience headaches, but mistakenly associate it with a tooth in need of extraction.
Countless times have I seen patients get diagnosed with hypertension while in the process of addressing completely different concerns.
Therefore, it is crucial to obtain thorough histories upon consultation to ensure the safest necessary treatment.
Before any oral maxillofacial surgery is performed, BP optimization prior to anesthesia is essential.
Lifestyle modifications such as decreasing dietary salt intake, exercise, weight loss, limiting alcohol and even smoking cessation can aid in reductions.
Should these modifications not be attainable, your doctor may prescribe an oral antihypertensive medication. These medications can be cardioprotective, helping the heart pump more efficiently without increasing the stress or workload.
Long-term management can be evaluated with daily BP checks using a personal monitor.
One can check results in the comfort of their own home, ultimately minimizing fluctuations related to distracting factors of the office.
Once evaluated and treated appropriately for hypertension, plans for surgery may resume. Our priority is to ensure patients receive the best quality of care possible.
It may be a pain in the tooth to seek cardiac evaluation beforehand, but your safety always comes first.