It is said that your mouth is the window to our overall health. So not looking after your teeth really is bad news for the rest of your body.
Infections in the mouth can be linked to major health problems all over your body,
leading to a significant effect on the amount of time an employee is away from work.
The British Dental Health Foundation found that 415,000 employees took time off work due to oral health, costing UK businesses a total of £36.6 million. Thus demonstrating the fact that dental benefits should not be overlooked in managing your company’s absences.
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation believes that;
‘if businesses placed as much of an importance on the dental well-being of their employees as they did on their general health, unforeseen absenteeism in the workplace could be reduced.’
Something many employers may not realise is the link between oral health and other health issues.
So what are the issues that are causing staff absence due to poor dental health?
Keeping your teeth clean could cut the risk of heart disease. Individuals with gum disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease than people without gum disease. People who never or rarely cleaned their teeth are 70% more likely to develop heart disease then those who cleaned their teeth twice a day. Brushing your teeth twice a day could save you from a heart attack
Research has found that there is a link between mouth infections and strokes. People who have had a stroke are more likely to have gum disease then individuals who have not had one. It is believed that bacteria from the mouth could get into the blood stream and cling to the blood vessels leading to strokes.
Bacteria from your mouth travelling to your lungs may increase the chances of developing pneumonia, and chronic respiratory conditions such as emphysema.
As an employer, you can cut these risks by raising awareness and encouraging a good oral health practice which will improve performance and attendance whilst transferring as a high valuable health benefit to your employees.
Employers should think about providing some form of dental cover, which is available as a standalone benefit or as part of a Private Medical Insurance policy or Health Cash Plan. These benefits will enable your employees to regularly visit their dentist, ensuring early diagnosis and treatment for any medical conditions without them worrying about the cost. Early intervention will in turn reduce the likelihood of any problems escalating into a serious illness and lengthy absences.
Health Cash Plans in particular will cover the most common routine medical treatments responsible for employee absence, including dentistry, optical, therapies and counselling all for a little as £1 per employee per week.
There are so many Health plans available, which one would suit your business and your staff? Excellect can help ensure the right plan is set up specifically tailored to the needs and of your workforce. Give us a call to talk through your options.
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