The benefits of dental and vision care seem obvious: You can keep your teeth and gums healthy, obtain corrective lenses if you experience vision problems, and detect any early signs of diseases of the eye. But the benefits of regular dental and vision screenings actually don’t stop there.
During a simple checkup, your dentist or eye care professional can detect early signs of many serious diseases. In fact, over 90 percent of systemic diseases present symptoms in the mouth, and many produce changes in the eyes as well.
For example, the following conditions manifest certain symptoms related to your eyes, often at an early stage of the disease:
- High blood pressure
- Thyroid disorders
- Several types of cancer
- High cholesterol
- Certain tumors
- Multiple sclerosis
- Sickle cell disease
In addition, if you’re becoming susceptible to a stroke, certain signs of that risk might show up in your eyes.
In a similar fashion, many diseases are associated with oral symptoms. For example, certain bacteria in the mouth are associated with heart attack risk. During a routine exam your dentist might discover early signs of the following conditions:
- Pancreatic cancer
- Oral cancer
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
In the event that your eye care professional or dentist notice something amiss, they won’t formally diagnose you with one of these conditions. They will, however, advise you to visit your primary care physician to double check on these symptoms, to see if they are related to a more serious disorder. Since most of us tend to rely upon annual exams to discover the development of chronic illness, staggering dental checkups and eye exams throughout the year can be a good way to stay on top of your health. You’re more likely to discover serious conditions in an earlier stage of development, when they are more easily treated.
Some health insurance plans don’t offer coverage for dental and vision care, but anyone can enroll in a supplemental (extra) policy. Give us a call about dental and vision insurance, and we can help match you to a plan that suits your needs.