Good Dental Health; Good Overall Health

A healthy mouth and a nice smile are just the start. Do you know that gum disease, if left untreated, can lead to other health complications? In fact, unhealthy teeth and gums have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, vascular disease and diabetes. Routine dental checkups can serve as an early warning system for these and many other conditions that you want to identify as early as possible.

The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, which, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), is the only stage that is reversible. If untreated, gingivitis may lead to a more serious, destructive form of gum/periodontal disease called periodontitis. According to recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every two American adults aged 30 and over has periodontal disease. What’s more, is that it is possible to have gum disease and have no warning signs, which is why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are so important!

People at a greater risk for oral diseases should have dental checkups more often than twice a year. Tobacco and alcohol use, diabetes, pregnancy, periodontal and gum disease, poor oral hygiene and certain medical conditions are some of the many factors that your dentist takes into consideration when deciding how often you need your dental cleaning and checkup. Talk to your dentist to determine the checkup schedule that’s best for you. Then, review the list of covered services on the Dental Benefits Page so you know how services, such as additional exams, are covered. If you find that you need a dental service that is not covered by the plan, don’t forget you can use your HRA to pay for those types of services.