How Medical Conditions Impact Your Mouth
It may seem simple, but sometimes we forget that our mouth is attached to our body. For whatever reason, the teeth and eyes seem to always be separate from the rest of the body. Let me assure you, that is not the case and what happens in your body can have a drastic impact on your mouth.
Children and adults who suffer from certain ailments and diseases such as, but certainly not limited to, diabetes, hypertension, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and many forms of cancer should really pay attention to their mouth.
An increase in cavities, loss of teeth, exacerbation of your gum disease, or erosion of the outside portion of your teeth can all point to negative impacts in the mouth from your medical disease. Since some health insurance will cover medically necessary treatment in the mouth that perhaps dental insurance won’t cover, it’s important to understand the connection.
A small number of dental offices are starting to offer services to assist the patient with accessing medical benefits. These benefits may cover implants, gum disease treatment, full coverage crowns, or dentures to rebuild the mouth. When your medical company pays for medically necessary treatment in the mouth, your out-of-pocket responsibility may reduce. Here are a few topics to discuss with your dental professional:
If you suffer from periodontal or gum disease and have diabetes, high blood pressure or other cardiovascular disease, you may qualify. The link between these ailments has been documented since the 1950’s.
Has your dentist expressed concern that your teeth are being eroded by stomach acid causing cavities, broken teeth or fillings, need for crowns, or extractions? Reflux can cause major damage to teeth. If you have reported this to your primary care physician or if you see a gastroenterologist, your eligibility is almost certain if coverage is available.
Do you take two or three medicines for multiple illnesses and their combined effect is causing dry mouth? Cancer treatments for the head and neck can also cause low salivary flow and increase cavities or tooth loss.
Remember, not all dental offices offer to bill medical companies for your health-related mouth issues. Make sure to see your dental professional for questions related to how illness and disease in the body can negatively impact your mouth.