man looking in mirror brushing teeth to improve his oral healthAt our San Jose dental office, it’s second nature for us to say that a healthy mouth leads to a healthy body and a healthy life. But we understand that not everyone sees all the intricate, important connections between your oral health and your overall health.

That’s why we’re happy to explain so that when you get care at Top Down Dental, you can appreciate the far-reaching benefits of Dr. Nancy Nehawandian’s approach to dentistry.

Periodontal Bacteria

Your mouth is a unique environment, often described as your oral microbiome, where bacteria flourish. Some of these bacteria are helpful, while others are harmful.

Your oral microbiome can influence the bacteria that thrive in your digestive tract, and we all know how much of an impact your gut bacteria can have on your digestive and overall health. Fostering a healthy oral microbiome can help improve the healthiness of your gut bacteria.

Unhealthy oral bacteria can impact more than your gut, too. When you have gum disease, it impacts your metabolism, making it harder for diabetics to control their blood sugar levels.

Gum disease bacteria utilize bleeding gums to colonize your blood vessels. Periodontal bacteria and the fats they produce contribute to the arterial plaque that causes heart attacks and strokes.

Gum disease bacteria can also influence your immune system. They trigger unhealthy systemic inflammation that is linked to numerous impacts on your health.

The tactics gum disease bacteria use to fool your immune system can make it less likely to attack cancer cells and more likely to attack your healthy cells. That’s why gum disease can increase your risk of autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.

Learn more about oral bacteria and your health. Also see how ozone therapy in San Jose can help your gums get and stay healthy.

Infected Teeth

Of course, oral bacteria don’t just affect your gums. Some bacteria are adapted to attacking and infecting your teeth. When oral bacteria penetrate into the central chamber of your teeth, they establish a bacterial colony that can be very bad for your health (in addition to sometimes causing severe pain!)

Oral bacteria can use an infected tooth as a jumping-off point for other serious infections, such as an infection of the sinuses, blood, or brain. These infections can sometimes turn deadly!

In addition, having an infected tooth can also have some of the same effects as periodontal bacteria. Studies link tooth infection to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems.

Restoration Materials

But it isn’t just bacteria that can impact your overall health. Sometimes it’s your dentist. When dentists use restoration materials that are toxic, such as metal amalgam fillings that contain mercury, you might feel the effects of it.

Mercury is one of the most toxic metals your body can be exposed to. Metal amalgam fillings can be more than 50% mercury by weight. That mercury doesn’t stay in the filling. Instead, it can migrate from the filling to increase the level of mercury in your blood, including the levels of methylmercury, which interacts with your cells more readily than elemental mercury.

Mercury-free dentistry in San Jose can help protect you from these effects.

Jaw Function

Proper jaw function is important for more reasons than simple biting and chewing. When your jaw isn’t functioning properly, it can interfere with numerous related or interconnected functions. Under the loose umbrella of temporomandibular joint disorders (called TMJ, TMD, or even TMJD), we see health effects beyond the mouth. In addition to jaw pain, you might experience headaches, neck pain, and back pain. You might also experience effects like tingling and numbness in your fingers, ringing in your ears, dizziness, hearing loss, and more.

TMJ treatment can effectively reduce or eliminate these symptoms, and it’s usually nonsurgical and drug-free.

Airway Space

Simply the form and position of your jaw are important for your health. The size, shape, and position of your jaw help to determine how open your airway is for breathing during the day and at night. Many people have trouble breathing during the day and have sleep apnea at night because their jaw development doesn’t create an open airway for them.

At Top Down Dentistry, San Jose sleep dentist Dr. Nancy Nehawandian can fit you with an oral appliance that will either reposition your jaw or reshape it to create a more open airway.


When your teeth are unhealthy or missing, or your jaw isn’t working properly, it can be hard to eat a full range of nutritious foods. Healthy crunchy vegetables and quality meat get rejected in favor of soft processed foods. You’ll decrease your intake of key nutrients and increase your intake of fat, sugar, and salt.

Obviously, this less healthy diet will have a negative impact on your overall health. San Jose dentist Dr. Nehawandian can return your teeth to health so you can resume eating the foods that help you feel good and healthy.


Your psychological state can also significantly impact your overall health. When you feel good about your oral health and confident in your smile, it can help you have a more positive outlook, which fosters better overall health.

If you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile, cosmetic dentistry in San Jose can give you a smile that will restore your self-confidence.

Our Goal Is to Improve Your Life in San Jose

If poor oral health is impacting your quality of life, Top Down Dental is ready to help. Whether you’re impacted by gum disease, TMJ, sleep apnea, or simply the appearance of your smile, let San Jose dentist Dr. Nehawandian help.

Please call (408) 354-5600 or use our online form to request an appointment at Top Down Dental in Los Gatos, across the street from Oak Meadow Park.