As a physician, you know how important preventive care and early detection is for your patients’ physical health. You likely use these terms so often that they begin to feel clichéd. Still, the truth remains: Health problems are best prevented, and if they can’t be prevented, they should be caught early.
This principle applies to dental care as well. In recent years, research has uncovered a deepening link to regular dental hygiene checkups and good physical health.
Dental Checkups Can Reveal Symptoms of Medical Problems
It is not uncommon for a dentist to inform a patient that he or she presents symptoms of a serious medical condition. According to Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General:
- Candida lesions may go unseen inside the mouth and are a possible sign of HIV infection or TB.
- Chronic dry mouth is symptomatic of several autoimmune disorders, including Sjogren’s syndrome.
- Certain oral pigmentations can be indicative of sarcoma, Addison’s disease or cystic fibrosis.
A dentist may be more familiar with these symptoms and may refer the patient to a specialist for followup.
Regular Dental Checkups May Help Prevent Disease
The correlation between good oral hygiene and cardiovascular health is becoming better established in the medical community.
- There are indications that endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart, may be caused by poor oral health. Bacteria may enter the bloodstream through unhealthy gums and attach to damaged heart tissue, leading to infection.
- Other research links poor oral health to the incidence of heart attack. Several species of bacteria that cause periodontitis have been found in atherosclerotic plaque of the heart and arteries.
- Still other studies have found that bacteria from inflamed gum tissue of pregnant women can get into the bloodstream and target the fetus, and may lead to premature labor and low-birth-weight babies.
Healthy Smile and Healthy Life
Clearly, there is strong evidence that regular dental checkups are a necessary part of good overall health. With quality dental insurance coverage through the TMA Insurance Trust sponsored plan, preventive dental care, including cleanings, is covered 100%. Having quality dental insurance just makes sense.
In addition, the plan offers superior dental coverage at a highly competitive rate for Texas physicians. Would you like to learn more? Contact us to speak with an agent who can answer your questions and provide you with a personalized quote.
For over 60 years, TMA Insurance Trust advisors have been serving Texas physicians, their families and staff. TMA Insurance Trust prides itself on offering unbiased information and strategies to members, along with exclusive group rates on a range of the highest-rated plans in the industry.