Gentle Dental of Allentown
2015 West Hamilton Street, Suite 202, Allentown, PA 18104

The state of one’s teeth and gums may impact overall health of the body

The-state-of-ones-teeth-and-gums-may-impact-overall-health-of-the-body

People should keep their dentists informed of existing medical conditions because many non-dental ailments have been linked to dental health. By including the family dentist in a person’s medical team, the best treatments can be determined that best safeguard someone’s well-being.

For instance, WebMD advises people who have had a heart attack to wait six months before any dentistry is performed on them. Dental practitioners should also be told if patients are taking anticoagulants, which are blood-thinning drugs, because excess bleeding could occur during some procedures. Patients should also check to see if oxygen and nitroglycerin is available at the dentist office in case of an emergency.

For those with high blood pressure, it’s important to ask if the anesthetics used by the dentist contain epinephrine, because that substance could trigger angina, heighten blood pressure levels and affect other heart-related conditions.

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.

In general, the state of one’s teeth and gums should be considered in tandem with the overall health of the body to ensure that symptoms beyond a simple toothache and the potential of underlying medical concerns aren’t overlooked.

Gums and 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 dental 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.

Heart risks
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.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
This dental practice has been amazing. They are professional, compassionate, and knowledgeable. I had not been to the dentist in quite some time, and was nervous about being reprimanded…nope […]
Cheryl O.
Everyone was very kind and attentive to me. My appointment started not long after I got there and was quick and speedy. No problems at all!
Laura M.
Super friendly. I almost fell asleep in the chair because it was that pleasant
Jarisleida R.
Dr. Minnetola is not only thorough he, and his staff, are friendly and welcoming. They put you at ease.
Terry F.
Great service
Johanna K.
Dr. Minatoli (if I am spelling correctly) is absolutely amazing. I had extreme dental pain from two cracked teeth and an abscess. Typically, an appointment is made for a later date after assessing […]
Kira W.
I have been a patient of Dr. Minetola for many years. He is a thorough, knowledgeable, and compassionate dentist and I never have less than excellent care from him and his staff. Although this last […]
Michael V.
Very nice office, caring people
James K.
As always everyone is so professional. Thank you! See you all in December 2017.
Shaylyn K.
Mark Minetola and Michele Ferguson are two of the best dentists in this area by far ! I absolutely love my hygienist, she always does an amazing job. Judy Lees is an awesomely amazing assistant and […]
Lorrie R.
I thought everyone was kind and straight forward which I greatly appreciate. First dentist I ever met who actually took the time to look at x rays with me and explain everything. Also the first one […]
Valentine C.
In time service, no waiting. Friendly, thorough hygenist. Offered teeth maintenance info. Friendly staff. Dentist was aware and mentioned previous work done. Inquired about current status. Pleasant […]
Margaret P.
Doctor was very thorough, precise, friendly, personable and empathetic about my reason for visit. I was in immense pain at the time. He was able to see me for an emergency. Thank you!
Hana S.
Experience was good, but everything simply met my expectations. A 10 would be a result of the office exceeding my expectations in a positive way.
Thomas C.
Good dental care.
Rory K.
Very professional
Jacqueline B.
Excellent service, cleaning was smooth, speedy. Amy was terrific!
Cathy W.
Geri is a great hygienist!
Amy K.
Professional service
Jean K.
Very thorough and friendly staff at my initial visit. Looking forward to a cleaning with them!
Amanda B.
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  • Monday 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Friday 8:30 AM - 1:00 PM
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  • Sunday Closed
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