We now know that there’s a connection between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and gum disease—poor oral hygiene can worsen the symptoms and underlying severity of this condition. Tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral infections can cause serious health problems.
Studies show that people with COPD have a higher risk of gum disease, dry mouth, and tooth decay (including tooth loss). The drugs used to treat this inflammatory lung disease can also cause dry mouth or oral thrush, a yeast infection of the mouth.
If you’ve been diagnosed with COPD, maintaining good oral hygiene can help you avoid experiencing additional complications. So, it’s important to brush after every meal and before bedtime and floss at least once a day.
Preventive dental care can reduce the risk of developing gum disease. By scheduling regular dental checkups, you increase your chances of catching potential problems early and reversing any damage that can impact your health.
If you have COPD or other serious conditions, our Oral Health for Total HealthSM program provides additional dental benefits that fight gum disease and improve your overall health.
Program benefits include two extra cleanings or periodontal maintenance visits per year (a total of four). These valuable services are available to enrolled members at no extra cost when visiting a participating provider.
If you have health and dental plans from HMSA and have been diagnosed with COPD, you’re automatically enrolled. If you don’t have a health plan with HMSA, you can easily enroll online.
Once enrolled, all you need to do is make an appointment with a participating dentist. You can find a dentist in your plan’s network at hmsadental.com/find-a-dentist.
Check our provider directory to see if your dentist is in-network, or find a participating provider.
Have a qualifying medical condition? Enroll to receive enhanced dental benefits that promote your overall health.