June 28, 2009
Taking good care of your teeth is much more than making sure you have a bright smile. It's key to your overall health and well-being.
Because the health of your mouth can predict the health of your body, you need to take good care of your teeth. You also need to visit your dentist on a regular basis. More than 90% of diseases can show up in your mouth first. Your dentist is often the first medical person to find health problems or disease.
By checking your mouth, your dentist also may see if other diseases are present. This can include diseases like leukemia (a blood disease), eating disorders, kidney problems, acid reflux disease, and lack of vitamins.
Good dental care - and keeping your gums free of disease - can lead to savings on dental costs and medical care. One study in the Journal of Periodontology showed healthcare costs over time were 21% higher for patients with severe gum disease than for those without gum problems.
You brush your teeth and floss daily and have regular dental checkups. What more can you do to improve your oral health? To find out, take the My Dental IQSM quiz. The dental health risk assessment at MyDentalIQ.com gathers information about your family history, eating habits, etc., and tells you right away how much you know about dental health. It gives you a specific action plan with tips to make your oral and overall health better.
A report from the Surgeon General found that people with dental benefit plans get care from their dentists far more often than those who don't have coverage. If your employer's benefits don't include dental coverage, you may want to check out dental insurance for yourself through. HumanaOne Dental On this site, you can find out more about the different plans or find a local agent.
Make brushing, flossing, and dental checkups part of your efforts to keep a healthy lifestyle and a nice smile, too.Your thoughts
Dr. Geoff Morris
Dr. Geoff Morris is National Dental Director for Humana Specialty Benefits. He's involved in dental product development, clinical policies for dental and medical plans, and many other initiatives. He also offers guidance to agents and employers to help employees understand the link between oral health and systemic health, and the need for appropriate dental care and dental benefits. Away from work, Dr. Morris enjoys time with his family, including two grandchildren, trying to improve his golf game, and spending time in Door County, Wisconsin.