May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month

At Hughes & Hughes Family Dentistry, our patients know the importance of regular dental check-ups. These exams are part of our comprehensive patient-centered care, focusing on prevention and health promotion.

During May—which the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) have designated “National High Blood Pressure Education Month”—and throughout the other eleven months of the year, our clinical staff assess and record your blood pressure during your dental examination. This is an additional step to safeguard your well-being.

Taking your blood pressure during a routine dental visit may

  • Uncover hypertension/high blood pressure when you feel fine and appear healthy, with no apparent reason to visit a doctor
  • Reveal white-coat syndrome—raised blood pressure when faced with the prospect of a medical or dental procedure—while in a non-emergency situation
  • Point to other possible health concerns like heart disease and Type II diabetes
  • Determine the best local anesthesia and dosage for you
  • Prevent the use of epinephrine in injections and its undesirable side effects (dizziness, headache, racing heart, sweating, etc.)

According to the CDC, 1 in 3 adults in the United States has high blood pressure—about 75 million people—but only half of them have their high blood pressure under control. Prevention and control of high blood pressure are necessary to mitigate the risk of heart disease (which includes heart attacks and strokes), the leading cause of death in the United States and around the world.

The CDC has stated that “high blood pressure is the single most important treatable risk factor for stroke. Preventing, diagnosing and controlling it through lifestyle changes and medicine is critical to reducing strokes.”

Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHG. You are at risk of hypertension if your top number (systolic pressure) is 120-139 and/or your bottom number (diastolic pressure) is 80-89. You have high blood pressure if your systolic is 140+ and/or your diastolic is 90+.

Control high blood pressure with

  • Low sodium diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy like the DASH (Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension) Diet or the South Beach Diet
  • Moderate exercise of at least 30 minutes per day
  • Stress-relief practices tailored to your needs and circumstances
  • Medication prescribed by your doctor

High blood pressure often strikes without warning so it is imperative to get your blood pressure checked regularly. What better time than during your dental check-up? Call 610-942-3321 today to schedule your appointment.

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