Physicians know that preventive care and early detection is so important when it comes to physical health. The same can be said of dental health. In fact, in recent years, research has uncovered a correlation between regular dental checkups and good physical health. In this article, we’ll explore that link, and talk briefly about the importance of dental insurance.
Can Dental Checkups Reveal Physical Health Issues?
At times, a dentist discovers symptoms of a serious medical condition while performing a checkup and is the first to inform the patient. According to Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General:
- One possible sign of HIV or TB infection is Candida lesions, which may go unseen inside the mouth by the patient.
- Chronic dry mouth is symptomatic of several autoimmune disorders, including Sjogren’s syndrome.
- A certain type of oral pigmentation can be indicative of sarcoma, Addison’s disease or even cystic fibrosis.
Because the dentist is more familiar with these symptoms, he or she is well-qualified to refer the patient to a specialist for followup.
Could Dental Checkups Help Prevent Disease?
The link 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. There is evidence that bacteria can enter the bloodstream through unhealthy gums and attach to damaged heart tissue, leading to infection.
- Research also 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.
- 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.
Keeping Your Healthy Smile
There is strong evidence that regular dental checkups are an essential part of good overall health, so having quality dental insurance just makes sense. If you are a TMA member, you can obtain this coverage through TMA Insurance Trust in partnership with MetLife. Choose a dentist from over 300,000 dental locations in the MetLife network (that includes nearly 80% of dental offices nationwide.)
The dental plan can help reduce out-of-pocket costs and is offered at affordable premiums and low copays for a number of preventive and restorative services, including cleanings, oral exams, crowns, bridges, and implants. Negotiated fees typically range from 30-45% below the average.
Would you like to learn more about dental insurance for TMA members through TMA Insurance Trust? Contact us to speak with an advisor 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.