The role of oral health in diabetes is a two-way street. People with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease, which can affect blood glucose control and worsen the severity of diabetes.
Periodontal disease, which damages bones that hold teeth in place, is a common dental issue for those 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, our Dental Xtra program provides additional dental benefits for enrolled program members who are diagnosed with diabetes. These benefits are covered 100%, with no out-of-pocket expenses when seeing a participating provider. The enhanced dental benefits include:
Members with health and dental plans from Arkansas Blue Cross who have a diagnosis of diabetes are enrolled automatically. Dental members who don’t have a health plan with Arkansas Blue Cross can easily enroll online.
To use your Dental Xtra benefits, simply make an appointment with your dentist. To find a dentist in your plan’s network, visit our provider directory.