Heart Rate Variability

The future of dentistry involves providing care that promotes your overall health and well-being, often alongside other healthcare practitioners. Increased interest in treating sleep disorder breathing, TMJ and other dental issues requires dentists to expand their vision as well as their treatment methods, and the success of treating these and other issues will be found in the dentist’s understanding of their patient’s physiology.

One of the factors used in providing your care is heart rate variability (HRV). Monitoring and assessing HRV is quickly becoming a key tool to understanding the physiological basis for the relationship between dental care and other healthcare practices. HRV, in combination with other monitoring techniques, allows our Dr. Lupita M. Roca to receive a real-time assessment of jaw position, muscle tension, automatic nervous system balance and more. A high HRV is a sign of good health and resilience, while lowered HRV is associated with disease states, including poor adaption to stress. In dentistry, lower HRV is associated with:

  • Malocclusion (bad bites)
  • TMJ disorders
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
  • Surgical dental procedures
  • And more

HRV may actually serve as an early warning system for sleep apnea, heart disease, hypertension and other serious medical conditions.

Science demonstrates that we can train our autonomic nervous system to support our well-being. Evidence-based techniques provide objective and measurable ways to see improvements in physiological and behavioral functioning.

Dr. Roca became a certified HeartMath provider to help our patients have better heart rate variability. She has found that many of our Homeoblock patients have less than ideal heart rate variability. If needed, we coach are patients on how to improve their heart rate variability. We want our heart rate in sync with our breath rate and we show our patients how to do it for optimal health.

Example of a HeartMath device used to test heart rate variability.

To learn more about heart rate variability and schedule your consultation with Dr. Roca, call Arlington Smile Center today at 703-237-7622.