The role of oral health in diabetes is a two-way street. Not only are people with diabetes more likely to get serious gum disease, but serious gum disease may affect blood glucose control and worsen the severity of diabetes.
Periodontal disease, which damages bones that hold teeth in place, is the most common dental issue affecting nearly 22% of people with diabetes. This condition causes gums to pull away from the teeth and form pockets between teeth and gums that can fill with germs and pus. Because people with diabetes are less able to fight infections, blood sugar may rise and bone loss may progress quickly.
Poor blood sugar control increases your risk of other dental health concerns:
Teamwork between you and your dentist will help keep you and your smile healthy. In addition to controlling your blood sugar level with medication, a healthy diet, and exercise, these steps can help:
To help manage the condition and improve oral health, HMSA’s Oral Health for Total Health program provides enhanced dental benefits for plan members who are diagnosed with diabetes. These benefits are covered 100%, with no out-of-pocket expenses when seeing a participating provider.
Members with health and dental plans from HMSA who have a diagnosis of diabetes are enrolled automatically. Dental members who don’t have a health plan with HMSA can easily enroll online.
To use your Oral Health for Total Health benefits, simply make an appointment with your dentist. To find a dentist in your plan’s network, visit our provider directory.