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
Everyone is so on top of their job!
Marsha M.
Friendly and professional staff, especially Dr. Thornton and Sima.
Darren C.
I felt comfortable at the office. i also felt I was given the proper treatment.
Equilla L.
I had a great experience in your office & appreciated the professionalism of the staff.
Elizabeth H.
My hygienist, Sima, was the most gentle, efficient, and thorough that I’ve ever had in my life.
Albert B.
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.
Great staff great energy within office . dental assistant was very caring and tentative. Felt very comfortable.
Nikki M.
Best in town.
Caliza G.
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.
Always a wonderful job. Thanks!
Jonathan A.
Staff always friendly when I come in.
Carolyn W.
The staff is wonderful and so is our dentist …she is kind, patient and very knowledgeable.
Deborah H.
Amazing, professional and friendly staff! So great, I actually look forward to going to the dentist. The staff is why I stay loyal to this practice.
Shane S.
Dr. Thornton and her staff have an impeccable bedside manor. They are very thorough in the explanation of all things medical and billing related. A patient leaves this office feeling very assured […]
Melissa M.
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 even […]
Nona L.
Cleanliness of office and materials, friendliness of staff, expertise and competency of staff. Timeliness of appointments.
Charlotte W.
I’ve been here twice and had a good, efficient experience each time.
Jeana S.
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.
Friendly knowledgeable staff. Dr. Thornton is great!
Michael M.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here

Office Hours
  • Monday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
  • Thursday 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Get in touch:
  • Phone: (404) 381-1490
Our Location