Seeing dentist regularly

Nov. 1, 2010
Recommendation made as part of American Diabetes Month and Prematurity Awareness Month in November 2010.

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania--United Concordia, one of the nation's largest dental insurers, is encouraging adults to see their dentist regularly as part of American Diabetes Month and Prematurity Awareness Month in November 2010.

"You should see your dentist on a schedule he or she advises, based on your risk factors for oral disease," said Jerome Blum, DDS, corporate dental director for United Concordia Dental. "There's plenty of research out there that shows a link between oral health and other medical conditions in adults, including diabetes and premature birth."

For example, the relationship between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and periodontal disease has often been called the "sixth complication of diabetes," according to "Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General 2000."

Also, a five-year study conducted at the University of North Carolina states that pregnant women with gum disease are seven times more likely to deliver a premature low-birth-weight baby.

"More and more scientific evidence is emerging that confirms how vital dental health is to overall wellness," said Dr. Blum.

"It's important that you, and your children, see a dentist regularly. Dentists not only take care of your teeth, they are also trained to look for signs of other issues, including bumps and sores that may be signs of a medical problem," added Dr. Blum.

As part of the company's commitment to provide its more than eight million members with effective dental benefits programs, United Concordia Dental--with the help of parent company, Highmark, and the University of Pennsylvania--is conducting a four-year study to better understand the link between oral health and other illnesses.

"Our ultimate goal is to help our members understand the importance of proper dental care," said Dr. Blum. "We anticipate the first results of this study will be available in the fourth quarter of this year. We plan to use the information to enhance the products and services we presently offer."

For a library of information about good oral health, visit the Dental Health Center on

To read more about United Concordia, go to United Concordia.

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