Oral Hygiene: It’s More Than Cosmetic
Did you know that your oral health is a window to your overall health? It’s probably more important than you realize. Not only can the health of your mouth be indicative of other health issues going on in your body, but poor health of your mouth, teeth and gums can actually trigger other more systemic and sometimes serious health issues. Your mouth is one of the most bacteria-laden areas of your body, but it usually corrects itself when coupled with regular dental visits and proper daily oral hygiene. However, if you neglect your oral hygiene, bacteria can multiply leading to infections, cavities and gum disease. And gum disease, it turns out, has been linked to many chronic conditions. According to an article on WebMD, recent studies have shined a bright light on the importance of physicians and dental care practitioners working in tandem to optimize an individual’s overall health. The article quotes Sally Cram, DDS, PC, consumer advisor for the American Dental Association. She says things have changed over the past five years: we better understand that chronic illness can affect the mouth and vice versa. And for this reason, she stresses:
Physicians are taking a more holistic approach to their patients’ overall health.
Recent studies suggest that the mouth can act as gateway for other diseases, at least according to Deepak Chopra, M.D. and other noted medical references including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The Mayo Clinic. In an article he penned for the Huffington Post titled, Weekly Health Tip: New Reasons to Brush and Floss, he writes about how the importance of flossing and taking care of your oral health goes much further than just cosmetic dentistry. He cautions:
It can affect the health of your whole body. Research shows that the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease in your mouth may also play a role in heart disease and stroke. And there is some evidence that tooth loss before age 35 may be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
Affordable Dental Coverage
The Obama administration thought dental health so vital to overall health that all children are insured under the Affordable Care Act for preventative dental care.
The new law makes children’s oral health care an integral part of what is defined as an “essential benefits package” that is offered in state insurance exchanges. According to Oral Health Watch, the campaign for dental health as essential became a national strategy of prevention. Says the site:
A strategy to coordinate and promote disease prevention, wellness and public health programs is included in the law. The law calls for the development of a five-year, evidence-based public education campaign focused on early childhood caries, the value of prevention and the oral health of pregnant women and at-risk populations.
Bridgeport Benefits can help you develop a great group benefits package that incorporates dental benefits for children and even your adult employees while still preserving your bottom line. Bridgeport was founded on the need for a high quality, service-driven organization dedicated to employee benefits programs. For over 20 years we have provided our clients with high quality, innovative advisory services in employee benefits. For more information on any topic covered in this blog or to explore a partnership with Bridgeport Benefits, contact us today for a consultation.