Are you protecting your clients from the effects of the “silent pandemic”?
More than 24 million Americans (about 7% of the population) have some form of autoimmune condition, and the prevalence is rising, according to the National Institutes of Health. Although you may not be aware of it, chances are many of your clients have, or are caring for someone who has, an autoimmune condition. It’s what some health researchers have labeled the “silent pandemic.”
For Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month this March, learn more about these conditions and how dental benefits help protect your clients’ oral and overall health.
It’s especially important for clients with autoimmune conditions to maintain their oral health with strong at-home routines and with regular dental visits for cleanings and exams.
In fact, the dentist becomes a crucial member of the medical care team for those living with an autoimmune condition. The dentist can help your affected clients stay up to date with:
Health and wellness are at the heart of what we do at Delta Dental. That’s why we offer expanded SmileWay Wellness Benefits (known as SmileWay Enhanced Benefits in Texas) to include 14 chronic medical conditions, including several of the most common autoimmune conditions.
Covered members and their dependents who have been diagnosed with any of these chronic conditions qualify for additional teeth and gum cleanings, which are crucial to maintaining oral and overall health:
SmileWay Wellness Benefits are available to add on to all PPO large group plans. For groups with this beneﬁt, members who have been diagnosed with any of the qualifying chronic conditions can opt in online or by calling Customer Service.
Talk to your Delta Dental representative about adding Delta Dental’s SmileWay Wellness Beneﬁts to your group clients’ plans.
The immune system normally helps the body stay healthy by fighting off invading microorganisms. But sometimes, the immune system starts attacking healthy cells and tissues. An autoimmune condition arises from this abnormal response to an otherwise healthy body part. Most autoimmune conditions cause inflammation, which produces redness, heat, pain and swelling.
There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune conditions.
Symptoms can vary greatly depending on the body part or parts affected. Some autoimmune conditions involve only one type of tissue; others involve many different parts of the body. For example, vasculitis primarily affects the blood vessels. Lupus, on the other hand, can damage the skin, heart, lungs and more.
Those with autoimmune conditions may be more susceptible to a number of oral health conditions, including:
Observe Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month by reminding your clients that their oral health is an important component of their overall health. Delta Dental is here to help protect their oral and overall health if they’re living with an autoimmune condition.