The importance of dental care
When you think of the care that your loved one needs, visits to the dentist may not be at the top of your list. But visits to the dentist are just as important as visits to the doctor. Research shows a strong connection between oral health and overall health.
Almost half of American adults have gum disease, which can worsen other health problems. Gum disease has been linked to several common conditions.
Bacteria in the mouth can affect the body’s ability to fight infection and to regulate blood sugar levels, which can cause problems for people with diabetes.
- Heart disease
Bacteria in the mouth can increase inflammation throughout the body and affect heart disease.
Regular dental care and cleanings can help prevent gum disease—and keep the whole body healthy. If your loved one doesn’t have a dental plan, we have affordable Blue Cross Dental plans available:
- For Medicare members, visit BlueCHiP for Medicare Dental or call 1-800-505-BLUE (2583) (TTY: 711), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (open seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., from October 1 – February 14). You can use our automated answering system outside of these hours.
- For all other members, visit Blue Cross Dental or call1-855-690-2583, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Already have a plan? Find a participating dentist.
Make the most of the dental visit
At their visit, be sure that your loved one:
- Tells the dentist their concerns.
This may include toothache, bleeding gums, and bad breath.
- Shares their medical history.
Diabetes and other health problems can affect the teeth and gums.
- Gives a list of their medications.
Many drugs can cause side effects in the mouth. For example, dry mouth can lead to cavities.