While you might underestimate the importance of proper dental health as an employer, a person’s dental health can either positively or negatively impact their overall health in many ways. Unfortunately, without the benefit of dental insurance, ensuring optimal dental health can be expensive for employees. Therefore, it’s important to offer this benefit to your full-time employees in addition to basic health care coverage.
Dental Health Does Affect Overall Health
A University of North Carolina School of Dentistry found that individuals with gum disease were twice as likely as others to die from a heart attack and three times as likely to have a stroke. These stats prove just a few ways that dental health does in fact affect overall health.
Negative Side Effects of Poor Dental Health
Let’s consider some of the common problems that can come from consistently poor dental health over time. They are as follows:
Infections: Plaque and gingivitis which are caused by poor oral health can lead to infections within the body. This can include infections of the teeth or gums, obviously. However, it can also lead to infections popping up in different parts of the body, like respiratory infections, such as COPD, acute bronchitis, and pneumonia.
Brain Damage/Dementia: Poor oral health can literally have a negative impact on the brain. This happens when gums that are inflamed by infection release some of that infection into the body. This infection can subsequently kill brain cells, eventually leading to memory loss and cognitive impairment. Even Alzheimer’s disease can be the result of gingivitis spreading its bacteria into the bloodstream.
Heart Disease: Gum disease has been associated with an increased risk for heart disease. Though the research on the topic isn’t 100% clear on the correlation between the two, tooth loss patterns and bacterial infections due to poor oral health have been shown to impact coronary artery health.
Diabetes: Not only can poor dental health lead to the onset of Diabetes, but it can also make it more difficult for those who already have this condition to get it under control. Therefore, when it comes to diabetes, good oral health is imperative.
Kidney Disease: This is likely not a condition that would often be associated with poor oral health. However, it has been shown that infections like periodontal disease can lead to the eventual development of kidney disease. Those who have gum disease have weaker immune systems and are more susceptible to infections.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society states that individuals with gum disease were four times more likely to develop Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is a debilitating, painful condition.
What are the Benefits of Offering Dental Health Coverage For Employees?
By ensuring that your employees have access to regular dental care, you can improve their chances of maintaining good oral health. While there is no guarantee that they will not develop the conditions outlined above, by providing them access to regular dental cleanings and checkups you are making it less likely for them to have to deal with these conditions. Consequently, this will ensure they are able to do their jobs at a higher level and are not forced to be out of work to deal with these sometimes devastating conditions. Add to this the fact that having dental benefits is yet another way to make your company stand out among competitors, and it’s a win, win!
Bottom Line: Dental Health Matters
Providing quality employee benefits is a key component of the long-term success of your business. Our team at Winter-Dent is experienced in helping all kinds of businesses navigate this process. Contact us today to start a conversation and evaluate your current benefits plan.