What Does Oral Health Have to Do With Overall Health?, Dr Karen Williamson, DDS

Photos by Lake Pointe Photography

Jennifer Price, RDH (Registered Dental Hygienist) wants you to know that we cannot have poor oral health and have any chance of having great overall health. And your mouth gives you no warning signs at all that something is wrong until the destruction process is farther along. Yes, you can look for bleeding, red and puffy gums, and bone loss, but by the time this destruction and infection has occurred, the body has been fighting inflammation and disease for a long time. Now, it is possible to detect the bad bacteria much earlier and design therapies to help. 

The Problem

Many of the really bad bacteria in the mouth have been directly linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia, heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, oral cancer, and strokes. In women, they can increase the risk of pre-term births. Even brain “fog” may be associated. Your mouth is positioned between your brain and your heart, and studies are showing that one in five adults are harboring harmful bacteria in their mouths, whether they feel it or not, and these bacteria go into the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Jennifer wants her patients to know that “brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings will not eliminate them.”  

How to Find Out If You Have Higher Numbers of These Bacteria

Jennifer sees patients at Dr. Karen Williamson’s office. Dr. Williamson has equipped her hygienists with state-of-the-art phase contrast video microscopes and saliva testing capabilities. This enables her and her team of hygienists to analyze the bacteria and tailor a therapy that is correct for the patient.  

“We are no longer guessing if someone has a problem. Now we are using reliable tests to detect the problem before someone even knows they have a problem. Losing skull bone is too late in the process,” states Dr. Williamson.

The Treatment

“Treating bacteria in the mouth is not a one-size-fits-all therapy,” Jennifer says. “Each patient is unique.  Once we determine what type of bacteria is present in the mouth, we can begin therapies specific to reducing the harmful inflammation. Obtaining health is a process. Our goal is to keep your oral health in a state of non-inflammation, for as long as possible, and aim the right treatments toward it when it is unhealthy.” 

Reinfection can occur from a spouse or significant other. Bacteria can be passed throughout the family, so if a patient is struggling with ongoing infections, it is important for the rest of the family to be evaluated. 

The Takeaway

Jennifer wants her patients and the community to know that, “We are committed to investing in technology and ongoing continuing education to help keep our patients healthy and informed.” We are no longer treating the mouth as a separate entity but recognizing that it is playing a vital role in inflammation affecting serious medical conditions. 


560 West Ralph Hall Parkway, Suite 104
Rockwall, Texas 75032
(469) 903-5619

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