Dental One Associates of Dunwoody
5901-B Peachtree Dunwoody Road NE, Suite 250, Atlanta, GA 30328

Checking dental health helps keep diseases at bay

Checking-dental-health-helps-keep-diseases-at-bay

When people have problems with their teeth, they go to the dentist office to have an exam for cavities or gum disease. They don’t necessarily think of dental issues in terms of heart health, blood sugar level or respiratory illness. But a number of research studies indicate they should consider the whole body when they are having dental pain because it could be an indication of more serious health concerns.

During American Heart Month in February, every aspect of cardiovascular health is in focus. From clogged arteries to high blood pressure, people should be aware of the steps they can take to reduce or eliminate unhealthy conditions that could lead to a stroke or heart attack. Scheduling an appointment with the family dentist is one of them.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), bacteria that enters the mouth through tooth decay or gum disease can spread throughout the body. In addition to a well-known link to diabetes, dental problems may be an indication of nutritional deficiencies, blood disorders, impaired immunity and bacterial pneumonia.

Periodontitis, the most severe level of gum disease, also increases the risk of a pregnant woman delivering a baby prematurely or a full-term baby that has a low birth weight.

Link to diabetes
To block dental disease from causing bad health in other parts of the body, ADA states that prevention is key. Good hygiene that includes a minimum of brushing teeth twice and flossing once daily, as well as regular check-ups with a local dentist, is important to maintain good dental health and identify problems in the early stages.

For people who are at the greatest risk of gum disease – at age 40 or older – regular exams are especially important for those with diabetes. When gingivitis, the most common form of gum disease, evolves into the more serious periodontitis, there is an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and exacerbating an existing case. While this form of diabetes can be regulated with a healthy diet and medication, people with advanced gum disease have to monitor their sugar intake to make sure it doesn’t create unhealthy glucose levels.

In addition, high sugar levels compromise one’s immune system and the ability to fight infections, including oral disease. Conditions that include tooth sensitivity and decay, dry mouth and delayed healing of mouth sores may result.

Another health concern related to dental care is respiratory illness. When high levels of bacteria are allowed to fester in the mouth, they can travel down the throat and into the lungs and create conditions that make breathing difficult. In the worst case scenario, illnesses such as pneumonia may result.

Debate on heart disease
The most hotly debated link between dental problems and overall health remains the one regarding cardiovascular conditions such as clogged arteries, which some researchers believe may worsen from chronic inflammation that begins in the mouth.

In 2012, the American Heart Association (AHA) announced that studies correlating swelled, diseased gums and clogged arteries are inconclusive, as is the link between dental health and heart disease.

However, the AHA also stated that periodontal and heart diseases have similar risk factors such as smoking, age and diabetes. The association continues to advise people to take care of their dental health as part of a heart-healthy regimen, pointing out that regular dental care reduces the risk of infections that may affect the heart.

Whatever the debate, people should keep their dentists informed of existing health conditions to help devise treatments that will be most beneficial. By making them part of a person’s medical team, they will be in a better position to deliver dental care that keeps one in optimum shape.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
The people were all outstanding!
Charles B.
Staff is awesome.
Nefertiti H.
Dr. Thornton is the best. Have never had a better experience getting fillings (which isn’t fun).
Kyle S.
I’d definitely recommend Dr. Sarah Thornton and her wonderful staff without any hesitation. They are efficient, great at what they do and make sure you are comfortable every step of the way […]
Deepika R.
Service at a level that is second to none! Awesome staff very friendly and attentive by far the best dental experience I have ever had!
Billy M.
The entire staff was friendly, knowledgeable and explained everything about my care and options :-) I was nervous about my appointment and they put all of my fear aside.
Michele O.
Fun staff, they don’t mind my jokes. Talkative and conversative. Efficient and punctual. Always thorough yet gentle for cleanings.
Daniel P.
Almost Pain free dental work. They care about how I want my smile to look. They need to use a new lab though because the lab is good for bridges.
Nikiah P.
Location and the customer service.
Brittany J.
Best. Dental practice. Ever!! This is the best dentist office I have ever been to. The staff is Amazing and make you feel right at home. I have recommended this office to everyone, and will continue […]
Chris R.
Great Service. Very knowledgeable staff. They’re passionate about teeth!
Anthony S.
Very professional and knowledgeable.
Terrence P.
Everyone was extremely friendly, and I didn’t have wait long to be seen.
Amy B.
I love all the staff and dentist there
Michael C.
It was a great Atmosphere. Definitely welcoming. Very good with explaining procedures , care and prices.
Lyanne V.
Dr. Thornton is one of the best dentists I have ever been pleased to call “My dentist.” Her skill and patience are topped with a wonderful personality and she has a soft manner and touch […]
Nona L.
The staff is wonderful and so is our dentist …she is kind, patient and very knowledgeable.
Deborah H.
Everyone was very pleasant and knowledgeable.
Joyce J.
I have been with Dental one associates since 2006. I switched to Dunwoody location since 2013 and loved it since. I recommended to almost everyone at work and they also become loyal patients to the […]
Herna M.
The people there are super friendly! I was so nervous about going to the dentist after having a horrible experience years ago at an office in another state but, the staff and Dr. Thornton made me […]
Stacee P.
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  • Monday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
  • Wednesday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Thursday 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
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  • Phone: (404) 381-1490
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