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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Staff is great
Nefertiti H.
Everybody at Dental One is phenomenal!! I first went there on an emergency and they were able to get me in right away. I came back three months later for my checkup and cleaning, and they were […]
Marc S.
They have the greatest staff I have ever came contact with since I’ve been going to the dentist. Receptionist is great ( Crystal) Both hygienist are nice (Jessica) (Sema) Dr. Thornton is awesome […]
Kevin A.
I was seen at scheduled time and staff is very friendly.
Craig S.
Best in town.
Caliza G.
Went in and out in 1 hour. Very nice and attentive staff. It was my 7 years old daughters first trip to the dentist and she had a great time. No complaints.
Heber P.
They were friendly, honest, not pushy, and welcoming. I had a great experience.
Patrick G.
Consistently friendly staff and efficient but thorough service for the last four years. And I HATE THE DENTIST.
Danielle J.
Professional staff, ease of getting appointment, conservative approach by Dentist.
Ann C.
They are wonderful , knowledgeable and compassionate!!
Brandy C.
The pleasant experience and post follow ups
Antione M.
Sima! Sima! Sima! Amazing individual and would have a glowing career in hospitality, my profession, if she ever left dentistry. Such a sweet caring person doing anything and everything to make sure I […]
Derek M.
After a long search, I’ve finally found a dentist that fits my needs. The entire staff is prompt and professional. I’ve taken my small child with me twice and everyone was very accommodating. I […]
Equilla L.
The entire staff is amazing. An experience that is typically dreaded by many is enjoyable when coming to this office. Everyone here is phenomenal. I recommend this dental office to anyone who will […]
Melissa M.
Staff is awesome.
Nefertiti H.
Excellent service and nice people/environment
Zoe M.
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