The Research Is Clear
A two-year study by the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine found that early periodontal treatment reduced overall annual medical costs:
- Nine percent for patients with diabetes.
- Sixteen percent for patients with heart disease.
In 2011 we compiled a random sampling of HMSA members with CAD or diabetes who did and did not receive preventive or periodontal dental treatment during a one-year period. The results of this sampling confirmed the findings of the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine study of the significant reduction in the use of medical services for those members who visited a dentist and received preventive treatment. Patients with CAD and diabetes had a medical cost difference of twenty percent.
Overall Health and Wellbeing
Good oral health improves a person’s ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow and make facial expressions to show feeling and emotions. However, oral disease, from cavities to oral cancer, causes pain and disability for many Americans.
Periodontal (gum) diseases are infections of the gum and bone that surrounds and support the teeth. In its earliest stage called gingivitis, the gums can become swollen and red and they may bleed. In its more serious form, called periodontitis, the gums can pull away from the tooth, bone can be lost and the teeth may loosen or even fall out. Periodontal disease and tooth decay are the two biggest threats to dental health and can influence many health conditions such as diabetes, coronary artery disease, oral cancer and even impact pre-term low birth weight babies.
- Studies show that treatment of periodontal disease can result in improved control of blood sugar levels.
- Research has shown up to a 2 fold increase in the incidence of cardiovascular disease in people with periodontal disease.
- Studies show up to a 7 fold increase in the risk of pre-term low birth weight babies in women with periodontal disease.
- Fluoride applications and more frequent cleaning appointments may help reduce the risk of cavities cause by side effects of previous oral cancer treatments.
Oral health is essential to an individual’s overall health. If you have one of the four conditions covered by the Enhanced Dental Benefits program, enroll today to start getting additional condition specific support and to jumpstart your path toward optimum overall health and wellbeing.
HMSA is committed to our community and the health of its members. That’s why we support a multifaceted approach to optimum oral care called Oral Health for Total health.
Dental health can influence conditions such as diabetes, oral cancer, coronary artery disease (CAD) and low birth weight and premature babies. For members with these conditions, HMSA:
- Delivers oral health education campaigns to members, providers and employers.
- Identifies members with diabetes, heart disease, oral cancer and those who are pregnant for more specific education.
- Works with members who are not actively maintaining their oral health, through focused communications that encourages members to see their dentist.
- Removes financial barriers through Enhanced Dental Benefits, a program that provides at-risk members with condition-specific benefits beyond their current dental benefits:
- No copayment
- No deductible
- Covered outside the annual maximum
Enroll now to take advantage of the focused attention, dental education and condition specific benefits to improve your overall health and wellbeing today!