Insurance Company Links Oral Health to General Health to Help Manage Chronic ConditionsThursday, May 19th, 2011, 4:17 pm
A large insurance company announced the results of an a program they have been running since 2007 that integrates medical and dental care for patients. Participants in the program were sent mailings about the importance of dental care and some even received phone calls reminding them to schedule dental appointments. The program is especially important for people with chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease or women who are pregnant. Analysis of the data showed that patients who did visit the dentist regularly had better control of their diabetes.
According to the Chief Medical Officer, “The scientific literature clearly shows the association between oral health and good overall health.”
Over sixty percent of the population has some form of periodontal (gum) disease. That number rises to ninety percent for people with chronic health conditions. Treating the existing periodontal disease reduces the inflammation and bacteria in the body. This gives patients a much better rate of success when it comes to controlling other risk factors such as blood sugar.
Obviously, the insurance companies want their customers to stay healthy and, as businesses they must maintain their profitability. The analysis of this insurance companies program seem to show that getting regular dental care in addition to your regular medical care seems to do both – save health care dollars and keep patients healthier. A win-win for everyone.
If you have a chronic health condition it is especially important that you schedule regular dental appointments. If it has been a while since your last visit, please contact Wilbanks Smile Center today at 706-886-9439.