SOURCE: DentalPlans.com, Inc.

DentalPlans.com

April 10, 2014 10:31 ET

Why It Pays to Have a Healthy Smile

The High Health Cost of Skipping the Dentist

PLANTATION, FL--(Marketwired - April 10, 2014) - Regular dental visits can do more than keep your smile healthy, they can provide a window into your overall health, state industry experts. Several recent studies have associated gum disease with other conditions and diseases such as respiratory, cardiovascular, diabetes, adverse pregnancy outcomes and breast cancer.

"If you don't take care of your teeth and gums, your poor oral hygiene can lead to a host of other health problems," states Jennifer Stoll, president of DentalPlans.com. "Seeing your dentist on a regular basis helps keep your mouth healthy and allows your dentist to watch for signs that may point to other health issues." DentalPlans.com offers this quick overview of your oral health and how it relates to your overall health, http://blog.dentalplans.com/accidental-injuries-what-to-do-when-you-have-no-dental-insurance#infographic.

A recent Harris Poll revealed that 60 percent of adults over 35 knew little, if anything, about gum disease. And according to the Academy of General Dentistry, gum disease affects 80 percent of American adults.

DentalPlans.com has gathered some compelling research on how your oral hygiene can affect your overall health.

Cardiovascular. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, because the mouth is a pathway to the body, people with chronic gum disease are at a higher risk of having a heart attack. Some researchers have suggested that gum disease may contribute to heart disease because bacteria from infected gums can dislodge, enter the bloodstream, and attach to blood vessels and increase clot formation. It has also been suggested that inflammation caused by gum disease may also trigger clot formation. Clots decrease blood flow to the heart, thereby causing an elevation in blood pressure and increasing the risk of a heart attack.

Diabetes. Research shows that there is an increased prevalence of gum disease among those with diabetes, adding serious gum disease to the list of other complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, according to the American Diabetes Association. Emerging research also suggests that not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, but serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.

Respiratory. Poor oral health is a risk factor linked to respiratory system diseases, including bronchitis, emphysema and pneumonia. Bacteria in the oral cavity can be aspirated into the lungs and cause respiratory diseases, including pneumonia.

Pregnancy. Pregnant women are at increased risk for periodontal disease because the increased levels of progesterone that come with pregnancy cause an exaggerated response to plaque bacteria. As a result, pregnant women are more likely to develop gingivitis even if they follow a consistent oral health care routine. Pregnant women who have periodontal disease are seven times more likely to have a baby that is born prematurely and have low birth weight.

Breast Cancer. The Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment conducted a survey of more than 3,000 people and found that individuals with chronic periodontal disease had a higher occurrence of breast cancer. The researchers found that the protein levels in saliva have shown a potential to assist in the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care of breast cancer. More than one-third of people being treated for breast cancer can develop complications that affect the mouth. Pre-existing or untreated oral disease can even complicate cancer treatment. Chemotherapy can affect saliva production, leading to dry mouth and other dental implications.

"With all of the research out there linking your oral health to your overall health, it is important for people to be vigilant about taking care of their dental health," says Stoll. "This is especially true if your family history indicates that you might be at risk for heart disease or diabetes. Your dentist should be part of your overall health team. Yet the biggest deterrent to getting dental care can be cost. That's why we have seen many Americans turn to dental savings plans as an affordable option."

Dental savings plans are a simple to use, cost effective, and affordable alternative to dental insurance, designed for individuals, families, and groups looking to save money on their dental care needs. Members pay a low annual fee for access to a network of participating dentists, who have agreed to accept a reduced fee from plan members as payment-in-full for services performed. As a plan member you simply show your membership card when visiting any of the 140,000+ participating dentists (more than 75 percent of the practicing dentists in America) to receive dental procedures at a discounted price up to 60 percent off. Members can choose from more than 30 different plans from trusted healthcare brands, like Aetna, Careington, Signature Wellness, and UNI-CARE. Plans start at $79.95/year, less than $7/month, offer immediate membership, no waiting periods, health restrictions, or paperwork hassles.

About DentalPlans.com
DentalPlans.com has successfully been operating as a private exchange since 1999, as the largest dental savings plan marketplace. Similar to a membership at a warehouse club, consumers pay an annual fee and get access to reduced rates on dental services and cosmetic dentistry and orthodontia, as well as vision and pharmacy. Members can choose from more than 30 different plans from trusted healthcare brands, like Aetna, Careington, Signature Wellness, and UNI-CARE, and have access to more than 100,000 dentists in combined networks nationwide. DentalPlans.com has affordable plans to fit any need and budget. And, depending on the plan you choose, consumers save 10 to 60 percent off services. Visitors of DentalPlans.com can compare plans by ZIP code or procedure, view sample savings and find a nearby dentist. DentalPlans.com is committed to making you smile, by making access to quality oral healthcare affordable and available to everyone nationwide. It's one of the reasons the company has been on the Inc. 5000 list, 3 years standing. To connect with DentalPlans.com visit us at www.dentalplans.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dentalplans.

Attachment Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2014/4/10/11G014389/Operation_Dental_Updated___Blue-620258674886.pdf

Contact Information

  • For more information:

    Melissa Watkins 
    Public Relations Counsel 
    Office: 804-402-5316 
    pr@dentalplans.com  

    Kelly Cioe
    Public Relations Counsel
    Office: 603-436-2347
    Kelly@whalenpr.com

    Editors Note: If you would like to interview a dentist please contact us at the above email or phone numbers.