WHAT DOES YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE NUMBER MEAN?

June 8, 2015

Do you often wonder what your blood pressure numbers mean? When you’re at your doctor’s office and you’re told “your blood pressure is 120 over 80” are you saying to yourself, “what over what”?

It’s important to take a few minutes and understand what your numbers mean. Understanding and knowing your numbers could save your life. High blood pressure is sometimes named the “silent killer” because if your blood pressure is high, you may not notice any symptoms. The first symptoms of untreated high pressures may be heart attack, stroke, or kidney damage.

So What Do The Numbers Mean?

SYSTOLIC BLOOD PRESSURE (the top number):

The top number is known as the systolic blood pressure. When your heart beats, it contracts and pushes blood through the arteries to the rest of the body. This force creates pressure on the arteries. This is called systolic blood pressure. A normal systolic blood pressure is below 120.

If your number is between 121 and 139 you are borderline high blood pressure, also known as prehypertension. At this stage, you are at a higher risk of developing heart disease. If your systolic blood pressure is over 140, you are considered to have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.

DIASTOLIC BLOOD PRESSURE (the bottom number):

The bottom number is known as the diastolic blood pressure. It measures the force in your arteries when the heart rests between beats. A normal diastolic blood pressure is below 80.

If your number is between 80 and 89 you are borderline high blood pressure, also known as prehypertension. At this stage, you are at a higher risk of developing heart disease. If your diastolic blood pressure is over 90 you are considered to have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.

 

Do You Know How Often You Should Be Getting Your Blood Pressure Checked?

If your normal, you should get checked at least every 2 years or as your doctor suggests.

If your borderline high, you should get checked at least every year or as your doctor suggests.

If you blood pressure is high, you should talk with your doctor and they will advise you on the appropriate amount.

Please consult your physician if you have any questions about your blood pressure numbers or how often you schedule your appointments.

Can Your Blood Pressure Be Affected By Your Environment?

Yes. Your number can be affected if you have caffeine, cigarettes or exercise at least 30 minutes prior to your test. There are a hand full of things that can affect your blood pressure.

At Advanced DDS, our patient’s overall health is our number one priority. We provide all our new patients with a complimentary blood pressure test during their initial visit. Current patients can request a complimentary blood pressure test.

If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, please let the dentist know at your next visit. This can affect the medications your dentist prescribes and the dental treatment you receive.

Call us today at 516-825-1100 to reserve your dental care appointment.

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