When your employees want to improve their health, chances are they’ll start by improving their diet, beginning an exercise program or quitting bad habits like smoking.
These are all fantastic ways to get healthier, but your employees may not realize that their gums are also crucial to their overall well-being. This February for Gum Disease Awareness Month, remind employees of the often-overlooked connection between gum health and overall health.
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a common bacterial infection that causes a chronic inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissue. It’s the major cause of adult tooth loss, and it affects nearly half of people over 30, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The effects of gum disease extend well beyond the mouth. Gum disease has been linked to a number of serious health conditions, including:
Early treatment of gum disease can effectively lower health costs in the long term. The devastating effects of the condition in its developed stages are largely preventable when employees stay informed and take action.
Your employees may be unaware of the connection between gum disease and overall health. What’s more, many of them may not realize they have gum disease. The condition isn’t usually painful, and many people don’t know they have gum disease until it progresses to more serious conditions, such as tooth loss.
Delta Dental has a wealth of resources you can use to educate your employees during Gum Disease Awareness Month and beyond. You can:
Routine dental checkups and cleanings, covered by all Delta Dental plan as diagnostic and preventive services, can help prevent and monitor gum disease.
Treatments for gum disease, such as scaling and root planing, are typically covered under most dental plans under periodontic services.
When non-surgical treatment is inadequate, Delta Dental’s standard plans offer several surgical treatments to slow down or prevent the progression of the disease. Common procedures include:
Employees with chronic conditions may be at a higher risk for gum disease SmileWay® Wellness Benefits offers additional coverage for gum treatment for those diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis or stroke.
Looking to improve your support for employees with or at risk of gum disease? Talk to your Account Manager about how your dental plan can improve employee health and reduce long-term costs.