Delta Dental of Virginia has launched the Delta Dental of Virginia Foundation to help improve the oral health and, subsequently, overall body health of all Virginians. “The Delta Dental of Virginia Foundation will provide grants to organizations that work to improve the essential access to dental care and oral health education that people require as part of their overall health care,” says Delta Dental President/CEO George Levicki.
With growing evidence linking oral health to overall health, the need for greater access to care is significant, as more than 3.8 million Virginians are without dental insurance, according to the Virginia Health Care Foundation. “Dental care and good oral health mean much more than healthy teeth and a nice smile. They are essential to good overall health and well-being,” says Levicki. “Poor oral health, a lack of dental care and untreated oral diseases can adversely affect an individual’s ability to speak, smile, kiss, chew, maintain proper nutrition, attend school or go to work.”
A dental exam may also be important to early detection of serious health issues. More than 90 percent of all systemic diseases, including diabetes, leukemia, cancer, heart disease and kidney disease, have oral characteristics that can be detected during an oral exam. Levicki says that a dentist may be the first to spot warning signs of potential systemic disease during a regular checkup, making access to a dentist more essential than ever.