Elevated blood pressure appears to be an affliction that is more common in developed than in developing countries. However, the blood pressure consistently increases with age in most populations in the world, modified only by genetic and environmental factors. In the United States, it is estimated that there may be as many as 58 million people with hypertension; fewer than 5% of these cases have a curable cause. Oral health care providers can expect to be called on to care for patients with this progressively debilitating disease. To provide competent care to patients with hypertension, clinicians must understand the disease, its treatment, and its impact on the patient's ability to undergo and respond to dental care.