Diabetes is a serious disease that can increase one’s risk for heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Even scarier, of the estimated 29 million Americans with diabetes, 8.1 million are undiagnosed. One reason is while diabetes does have some symptoms, like increased thirst, frequent urination, and tingling in the hands and feet, sometimes it can be symptomless. That’s why screenings are so important. They can lead to early detection of the disease, which can help people control symptoms and improve their quality of life. To encourage more people to get tested for diabetes, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is partnering with their PPO dentists in Muskegon County to provide free glucose screenings for dental patients with Blue Dental coverage. With these glucose screenings, a tiny blood sample is tested for blood sugar levels, a measure used to indicate the possible risk of for the disease. Taking a simple glucose screening at your dental visit makes sense. Dentists see patients every six months and can notice signs of serious diseases. For example, dental issues like gum disease and dry mouth can be a sign of diabetes. With this new partnership, dentists can now go one step further to help keep their patients healthy. Muskegon County residents are especially at risk for diabetes. At the moment, 10.8 percent of Muskegon County residents have diabetes, higher than the national average of 8.3 percent. To take advantage of this free offer, Blue Cross Blue Shield Dental members can visit one of BCBSM’s PPO dentists in Muskegon County and inquire about the program (find one at mibluedentist.com) through October 31, 2015.
About Dr. Gary Vance
Dr. Vance has been a practicing dentist for more than 35 years and is currently a dental associate at a private practice in Plymouth, Mich. He graduated from the University of Detroit’s School of Dentistry and is a member of the American Dental Association, Michigan Dental Association, Detroit District Dental Society and the American Association of Dental Consultants. Dr. Vance has been a dental consultant for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for the past 15 years and is the newest blogger for A Healthier Michigan. Photo credit: Herry Lawford