Drs. Grant and Conger
602 Main Street, Dalton, GA 30720

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
Dr. Rausch gives very good care and the hygienists and office staff were quite nice, welcoming, and professional.
Margaret E.
Everyone from the front desk staff to the doctors go above and beyond to assist you. I dreaded dental visits before I found this place. If you haven’t already, check this place out. Couldn’t ask […]
Michael J.
Enjoyed the atmosphere
Riley C.
Everyone is always caring, professional, and helpful. Thank you!
Betsy M.
Goodall personal attention.
Carlos C.
Everyone was friendly and showed interest that we were taken care of with least amount of pain possible. Best trip to a dentist ever!
Cody H.
I have been a patient at Dr. Grant’s since 1976 and have always had great work on my teeth there and Dr. Grant and staff are wonderful and friendly always to me and my family who also are patients […]
Peggy C.
Dr. Owens and his assistant Jessica made my crown procedure as easy on me as possible. They told me what was happening with each step and made sure I was not having any discomfort or pain. Everyone […]
Gary M.
Service is great
Kim M.
The staff is such a fantastic group. I am very comfortable with Dr. Rausch as my dentist.
Linda K.
Office staff, assistants, and Dr. Rausch are all courteous and take time out of their day to check on patients.
Brittany R.
My experience was very pleasant and the dental assistant very kind.The doctor was very nice and kind and didn’t make me feel bad for the length of time since I had been to a dentist.He fixed the […]
Charlotte B.
Took care made sure their was no pain
Kevin L.
Great staff and service. We have been coming here for over 30 years. Thanks for taking care of us over the years!
Mary S.
Im 37 years old and have been going there since I was a child never been disappointed love the staff and the work
Pamela S.
Tina strives to make sure that the room is wheelchair friendly.
Billy B.
Great service and friendly a atmosphere. The staff are great
Heather H.
Great staff that takes each patient personally with all they are. Melissa will clean your teeth with the most respect to your individual need and her assistant will keep you in stitches. Great group […]
Kelly W.
Very skillful staff and professional office environment. I would have liked for a few more moments with the dentist.
Colt S.
Everyone at the office makes you feel at home with their friendly smiles. A great staff providing great service!
Melissa E.
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