Greetings from Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney

Drs. John Pinnix and George Betancourt would like to extend our sincerest best wishes to you and your families. We hope that you continue to navigate these most difficult times with strength, perseverance and the promise that we will all soon return to 'business as usual'.

Please note, the purpose of this email is not to go into detail about our office protocols during the current COVID- 19 response. We always have and will continue to maintain the highest level of aseptic and sterilization techniques. Regarding our office hours, we are presently closed as a result of recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the American Dental Association. For patients with upcoming appointments, trust that we will communicate directly with you via phone call to reschedule them as we learn more about our current situation.

For the time being, we want to extend to you, our patients, the helping hand you need during these times for all things dental. While we may be limited in terms of office hours and available services, Drs. Pinnix and Betancourt remain available to you via other modalities. For example, we ask that you please find and follow our social media pages, pinnixandbetancourt on Instagram, Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney on Facebook, and @BlakeneySmiles on Twitter. We will use these social media outlets as a means of communication and also a way to provide a Question & Answer forum for general questions anyone may have.

For personal/private needs related to ongoing treatment or your dental health, we will be available to schedule a virtual consultation. This may be accomplished via FaceTime, Zoom meeting or other platform whereby we may have a face to face encounter. These will be available to you, our patient, as a courtesy.

These are unprecedented times for us all. We strive to be on the front edge of the capabilities and service we provide our patients. Much of that depends on our availability and communication. We are here and we will, across any medium possible, provide the guidance you need during these difficult times. We ask that you please reach out to us either via email to the office (, one of our social media platforms, or our phone line from which you can leave a message. We will make every effort possible to get back to you in a timely manner.

From Drs. Pinnix, Betancourt and our entire staff at Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney, we hope you and your families manage the COVID-19 pandemic with an abundance of care, caution and respect for the well being of our community.


Drs. John M. Pinnix, George A. Betancourt and the staff of Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney


More and more individuals are becoming aware of the mouth body connection. If infection is present in the oral cavity, it is also being carried throughout the body via the bloodstream. Chronic conditions such as respiratory disease, heart disease, and diabetes have been undeniably linked to periodontal disease, a condition characterized by inflamed, red, and bleeding gums. At Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney in Charlotte, NC, we strive to educate patients on this topic. Dr. John M. Pinnix IV and Dr. George A. Betancourt explain why so many serious medical concerns are related to gum health.

Diabetes and Gum Disease

If gum disease is present, it can elevate blood sugar levels. As a result, it can be challenging to regulate the amount of glucose in the blood. This means that patients with periodontal disease are much more likely to develop diabetes

Several chronic conditions, such as respiratory disease, heart disease, and diabetes, have been linked to periodontal disease.

Patients who already have diabetes are at a much higher risk for gum disease. This is because diabetes actively thickens blood vessels – a condition that prevents the mouth from ridding itself of excess sugars effectively. 

Illustration of healthy gums vs. periodontitis

Heart Disease and Periodontal Health

Numerous research studies have suggested a link between periodontitis and heart disease, and there are several theories to support this claim. One theory states that the same oral bacteria that cause gum disease attach to the coronary arteries once the strains enter the bloodstream. As a result, patients are at a higher risk for blood clots, narrowing of the arteries, and heart attacks. 

Another theory suggests that the inflammation triggered by gum disease leads to excessive plaque buildup. In turn, this exacerbates pre-existing heart conditions and leads to swelling of the arteries. One study performed by the American Academy of Periodontology theorizes that individuals who react to oral bacteria are automatically at a higher risk for heart disease.

Respiratory Disease and Gum Health

When harmful oral bacteria are present, they can be drawn into the respiratory tract during breathing. As a result, the bacteria can colonize, leading to significant infections such as pneumonia, emphysema, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

Additionally, swelling in the gum tissue can cause inflammation of the lung lining. Oftentimes, patients who experience chronic respiratory issues have a compromised immune system. As a result, bacteria can easily breed beneath the gum line. 

How Periodontal Disease Can Affect Pregnancy

Did you know that hormone fluctuations can trigger inflammation and gum disease? Because women experience a surge of hormones during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, they have an increased risk for developing periodontal disease. 

Current research suggests that pregnant women with gum disease are more susceptible to preeclampsia and have a higher risk of delivering underweight or premature babies. The bacteria that causes gum disease increase prostaglandin levels, a chemical in the body that induces labor. Therefore, elevated levels can lead to premature labor, resulting in a low birthweight baby. Additionally, gum disease can also lead to an increase in C-reactive proteins, which exacerbate the body’s natural inflammatory response.

Protect Your Smile and Your Health

The relationship between oral health and whole-body health is clear, so it is important to attend all routine dental appointments and practice good brushing and flossing habits at home. If you have diabetes, or if you have a family history of heart or respiratory diseases, we can help you keep harmful bacteria at bay through professional cleanings. To learn more, contact us online or call our office at (704) 543-1102.

Dr. Pinnix and Dr. Betancourt

Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney

At Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney, our goal is to enhance your quality of life through dentistry. Dr. John M. Pinnix IV and Dr. George A. Betancourt are proud to be associated with a range of prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • International College of Oral Implantologists
  • American Society of Anesthesiologists

For more information about our services, contact our Charlotte office online or call (704) 543-1102 today.

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Charlotte Office

8918 Blakeney Professional Dr
Ste 100
Charlotte, NC 28277

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