My Blog

Posts for tag: Dental Visit

By Beckman Dentistry
June 09, 2021
Category: Oral Health

The next time you visit your dentist you might see an item quite different from the other dental instruments and equipment in the office: a blood pressure cuff. Checking blood pressure is becoming a more common occurrence in dental offices across the country.

Abnormal blood pressure and some of the medications used to treat it are often a factor in some dental procedures, particularly if anesthesia is involved. But your dentist may also check your blood pressure for another reason: dental visits represent another avenue to screen for this condition that increases the risk of serious health problems.

Undiagnosed high blood pressure is a prevalent but often “silent” problem because the early stages of the condition may not display any symptoms. Many people first become aware they have an issue only after a blood pressure check at their family doctor, pharmacy or a health fair, for example. Otherwise, they could go months, even years without this vital knowledge about their health.

But while people may only visit their doctor once a year (or less) many see their dentist much more often, even twice a year, for routine cleanings and checkups. Including blood pressure screenings as a routine part of dental treatment could alert patients to a potential issue much earlier than their next doctor’s visit.

In fact, one study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association looked at a group of dental patients with no reported heart disease risk and who had not seen a doctor in the twelve months before their dental visit. During their visit their blood pressure was checked. Of those then referred to a physician for an abnormal reading, 17% learned for the first time they had an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

It’s estimated about 80 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease and many don’t even know it. Diagnosing and controlling high blood pressure is a key factor in treating these life-threatening conditions. And many dentists are joining the fight by making this simple screening method a part of their dental care services.

If you would like more information on blood pressure screening, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Monitoring Blood Pressure: What you don't know can hurt you.”


Chicken pox is a common viral infection that usually occurs during childhood. Although the disease symptoms only last a short time, the virus that caused it may remain, lying dormant for years within the body's nervous system. Decades later it may reappear with a vengeance in a form known as herpes zoster, what most people know as shingles.

A shingles outbreak can be quite painful and uncomfortable—and it's also not a condition to take lightly. Occurring mainly in people over fifty, it often begins with an itching or burning sensation in the skin. This is often followed by a red rash breaking out in a belt-like pattern over various parts of the body, which may later develop into crusty sores. Symptoms may vary from person to person, but people commonly experience severe pain, fever and fatigue.

Besides the general discomfort it creates, shingles can also pose major health problems for certain people. Individuals with other health issues like pregnancy, cancer or a compromised immune system may experience serious complications related to a shingles outbreak.

In its early stages, shingles is contagious, spreading through direct contact with shingles sores or lesions or through breathing in the secretions from an infected person. This characteristic of shingles could affect your dental care: because the virus could potentially pass to staff and other patients, dentists usually postpone cleanings or other dental treatments for patients with shingles, particularly if they have a facial rash.

If you're diagnosed with shingles, most physicians recommend you begin antiviral treatment as soon as possible. You should also let your dentist know if you have shingles, which may put off any scheduled treatments until your doctor determines you're no longer contagious.

There's one other thing you can do, especially if you're over 60: obtain a shingles vaccine, available from most physicians or clinics. The vaccine has proven effective in preventing the disease, and could help you avoid this most unpleasant health experience.

If you would like more information on shingles and its effect on dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

Dental Appointment

Many of our Prairie Village, KS dentist patients come to see us every six months. With the hustle and bustle of daily life that typically occurs from appointment to appointment, the questions our patients may have meant to ask can quickly go by the wayside. Don’t let this happen to you -- Dr. Dallas Ziegenhorn’s goal is to not only keep their teeth healthy and clean, but also to educate them and serve as a resource.
We encourage you to write down a few questions you may have and keeping them in an easy-to-reach place (a wallet or purse is a good start). If you aren’t sure exactly what questions to ask, here are three to consider:

1. How does my medical history or the medications I’m taking affect my dental health?

Systemic conditions and your dental health are closely related. For example, patients with diabetes whose diabetes is not well-controlled are at greater risk for cavities and dental infections. Diabetes affects blood flow to the gums and can cause increased dry mouth, which tends to increase bacteria in the mouth.
Medications taken can also cause dry mouth. While this does not mean you should discontinue any medications due to this side effect, it does mean that Dr. Ziegenhorn can recommend steps to increase saliva flow or prescribe a mouthwash that increases moisture in the mouth. Through discussing your unique health conditions, you can identify ways to improve your dental health.

2. Do you see any signs I may be grinding my teeth?

Teeth grinding is an unfortunate side of stress and/or jaw misalignment and common cause of headaches and jaw pain. Many of our Prairie Village patients experience these symptoms, yet do not consider grinding teeth as a possible cause. By asking your dental hygienist and Dr. Ziegenhorn, they can take a closer look to ensure you do not have any teeth grinding signs.

3. Am I using the right toothbrush/toothpaste?

It’s never a bad idea to check in to ensure you are using the right toothbrush and toothpaste for you. For example, some patients may be better using a different brush bristle softness. While using American Dental Association (ADA)-approved products is generally a good place to start, it’s never a bad idea to check with Dr. Ziegenhorn to affirm you are using the best products for you.

Call Ziegenhorn Dentistry Today!

Is it time to make an appointment at Ziegenhorn Dentistry? Call our Prairie Village, KS dentist office at (913) 649-7500 and a member of our staff will assist you.
Are you a patient of Ziegenhorn Dentistry? If so, we would love to hear about your experiences below!