Drs. Finkelman & Machlus, DDS
1755 Old York Road, Abington, PA 19001

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
Best dentist I’ve ever been too. They were always ready for me when I came there in time.
Scott S.
Caring doctor & timely appointments
Robert B.
Very clean office. Nice and professional staff
Michelle S.
I have been using your dental service for over 45 years and have worked with Dr. Elkins and now Dr. Finkelman – a couple times with Dr. Machlus. They have been very professional and have met my […]
James A.
I’m writing on behalf of my mother. I scheduled her an appointment and when she came back all I heard from her ( thank you for finding me this dentist, they are the best. The doctor, and the staff […]
Samya G.
Timely service. Friendly staff.
Eileen S.
Staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor was professional and explained the treatment plan and costs up front.
Mary S.
Dr. Machlus, did a great job on my teeth. His craftsmanship speaks for itself. It needs no Introduction. The receptionist and aides were outstanding as well. On top there job…not a moment to spare. […]
Donald B.
My hygenist is wonderful. Friendly, efficient and painless. Everyone here is really nice.
Gilbert C.
Sevice and courtesy
Craig N.
The office is run extremely professional, Dr. Machlus has a wonderful bed side manner and truly cares about his patients. Couldn’t ask for anything better!!
Wayne E.
Always has good availability…makes a root canal painless…very nice dentist and friendly staff….all around great office for dental health.
Rita M.
Both the doctor and staff are friendly, professional and competent
Mary S.
Friendly staff. Appointments are on time. Injections are painless.
Nancy R.
A very pleasant atmosphere and Dr. Finkelman was so nice which made me feel less anxious about the dentist.
Kathleen D.
Great dentists and dental hygienists there! They communicate with you as to what they are about to do or what needs to be done so there are no surprises. They take care to put your mind at ease and […]
Crystal S.
Convenient times, friendly and knowledgeable staff. Have not had to wait more than 5 minutes for any of my numerous appointments.
Daniel S.
very friendly and the hygenist made me feel at ease
Gilbert C.
Being terrified of the dentist, I have never ever said this before, but I had a very pleasant dental experience with Dr. Machlus,, and this was for a root canal,,, not an easy thing to walk away from […]
Randi M.
Fast, compassionate care.
Arthur V.
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