In our office, we get asked a lot, “Why do you take my blood pressure?” According to the American Heart Association, one-third of American adults have high-blood pressure. Many patients see Dr. Kim more frequently than see their physician, providing Dr. Kim and his team an opportunity to educate our patients about blood pressure and how it affects their overall health.

The following information will better help you understand the symptoms, risk factors and what happens when blood pressure is untreated.

 According to the American Heart Association recommends blood pressure screening occur at age 20. Blood pressure readings include normal, prehypertension, two stages of hypertension, and hypertension.


                                                      


What are the Symptoms for High Blood Pressure?  
     
Headaches, dizziness, and nosebleeds are not usually caused by high blood pressure, unless the patient is Hypertensive Crisis. ·   Facial flushing may occur with high blood pressure, but high blood pressure is not the cause of facial flushing.        
Dizziness is not the cause of high blood pressure, it may be a side effect of some blood pressure medications.        
Along with headaches and nosebleeds, patients may also experience sever anxiety and shortness of breath.

Primary Risk Factors that Influence Blood Pressure Several risk factors are associated with the development of hypertension:

•Family History          
•Age          
•Race          
•Overweight/obesity and lack of physical activity         
•Poor diet         
•Tobacco use        
•Stress  

Left untreated, high blood pressure increases the load of the heart and arteries causing damage to the circulatory system over time, such as heart enlargement, atherosclerosis where the walls of the arteries become stiff and brittle as fatty deposits develop inside the artery walls. Untreated blood pressure can also cause:

•coronary heart disease        
•angina        
•myocardial in farction         
•stroke        
•kidney damage         
•peripheral artery disease         
•heart failure

Conditions when Measuring Blood Pressure in the Dental Office The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute suggests before blood pressure readings are taken the following conditions should occur at least 30 minutes prior to get the most accurate:

•no smoking         
•no exercise       
•no caffeinated beverages

Research studies have shown that people with normal blood pressure reading between the ages 55 and 65 still have an 80-90% risk of developing hypertension by the age of 80. With patients living longer, blood pressure should be monitored and recorder on regular basis.