Undiagnosed Hypertension in the Dental Clinic
Introduction: Hypertension is defined as a systolic blood pressure (SBP) greater than 120mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure (DBP) greater than 80mmHg according to the new classification of American Heart Association AHA. It is considered the most prevalent chronic disease among the elderly population. It constitutes a world-wide public health challenge, because of its high frequency concomitant risk of cardiovascular and renal disease. People with very high blood pressure are at high risk of acute medical issues, while undergoing dental treatment. Accordingly, dentistry must continue to place an emphasis on the detection and referral of patients with high blood pressure. Materials and Methods: The present study was based on patients randomly selected from those attending KAUFD dental hospital for dental treatment. Data were collected based on a comprehensive validated structured questionnaire gathering information regarding medical, dental, family, and social histories. In addition, a thorough clinical examination and vital sign registration for the patients was performed. Result: This study was conducted on 200 adult patients (105 females and 95 males). The overall prevalence of hypertensive patients was 98 (49%). Among these patients 82 patients (83.67%) were totally unaware of their condition, while two patients (1%) admitted they are uncontrolled and only 14 (7%) patients were controlled taking their drugs regularly. Conclusion: The increasing prevalence of undiagnosed and uncontrolled hypertensive patients presenting for dental treatment, with its high associated life-threatening complication throws the responsibility of its prevention on the dentist’s shoulders. Dentists screening and monitoring of the patients’ blood pressure should be routinely performed in conjunction with a strong awareness and patients’ education about the potential risks associated with this disease.