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14 December 2023

Delta Dental & Diabetes Foundation: Bridging Oral Health and Diabetes

Delta Dental of New Jersey and the Mahwah, NJ-based organization Diabetes Foundation are collaborating to educate New Jersey residents about the link between oral health and overall well-being.

According to the American Diabetes Association, around 43.6% of New Jersey’s adult population either has prediabetes or has been diagnosed with diabetes, and a staggering 207,000 individuals are unaware that they have the condition.

“When Delta Dental and other amazing organizations collaborate with the Diabetes Foundation, it elevates the holistic conversation about diabetes, from what it means to why you should get tested to monitoring blood sugar levels,” said Ginine Cilenti, executive director at Diabetes Foundation. “Diabetes management is a learning process and educating individuals living with or at risk of diabetes on the connection between their oral health and overall health is key.”

Since 1990, the Diabetes Foundation has been working throughout the state to provide individuals with or at risk of diabetes with the resources and education necessary for long-term and effective diabetes self-management. It provided about 4,000 services to the public last year.

“Diabetes often gets the most attention during Diabetes Awareness Month, but it’s not just in November when diabetes’ impact on oral health needs to be highlighted for individuals with or at-risk of diabetes,” said Dr. Keith Libou, chief clinical officer of Delta Dental of New Jersey. “Delta Dental of New Jersey provides resources and educational information on diabetes and oral health on our website and social media channels, and working with the Diabetes Foundation helps elevate this conversation and hopefully make more New Jersey residents aware of their diabetes risk.”

Oral health is a critical determinant of a patient’s overall well-being, and diabetes is now one of the more than 120 systemic conditions that dentists can screen for during an oral exam. Untreated diabetes can have a negative impact on oral health over time, leading to issues such as dry mouth (which can increase the risk of cavities), gum disease, and weakened taste buds.

In 2017, Delta Dental of New Jersey and Connecticut spearheaded an initiative to enable dentists to conduct in-office A1C blood tests for individuals at high risk of diabetes or pre-diabetes. Additionally, this test can be covered through their Delta Dental plans. Results are available within five minutes of the test being administered.

About Delta Dental of New Jersey

Delta Dental of New Jersey, Inc. is the leading dental benefits company in New Jersey, providing or administering coverage to over 1.9 million individuals through contracts with groups and individuals in New Jersey and Connecticut. In Connecticut, Delta Dental of Connecticut, Inc. is a licensed insurer that writes dental and vision coverage on an insured basis, while Delta Dental of New Jersey administers self-funded dental benefit programs.

With a history dating back to 1969, Delta Dental of New Jersey’s mission is to promote oral health to the greatest number of people by offering accessible dental benefit programs of the highest quality, service, and value. As a not-for-profit service corporation and a member of the Delta Dental Plans Association, the company is part of a network that provides national dental coverage to over 85 million people.

About Diabetes Foundation

The Diabetes Foundation, established in 1990 as a 501(c)(3) foundation, aims to empower individuals facing challenges with prediabetes, Type 1, Type 2, or gestational diabetes. Committed to providing access to essential resources and medications necessary for people living with diabetes to maintain their health, the Foundation offers various programs for children, parents, adults, caregivers, and their families, irrespective of income or healthcare coverage. Generous support from patrons and sponsors enables the Diabetes Foundation to continue offering services to the community for free.

Source: www.diabetesfoundationinc.org

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