Are There Links Between COVID-19 and Oral Health?
With the current pandemic, many people are making an effort to remain home as much as possible and are avoiding any appointments they believe to be unnecessary. But is it wise to delay visits to the dentist or periodontist?
The British Dental Journal recently published a paper that suggests the opposite.
The way that the health of the mouth is connected to the overall condition of the body, known as the oral-systemic connection, has been known by dentists for a while.
In the paper by Victoria Sampson, she examines the ways that many of COVID-19’s more serious complications could be related to the bacteria found in the mouth.
What are the serious complications that have connections to the coronavirus?
Some of the most frequent, dangerous complications of COVID-19 are:
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
- Septic shock
- Blood clots
These complications are actually more likely to result in death than COVID-19 itself. COVID-19 is a virus, but these complications are due to bacteria. Studies are showing that eighty percent of COVID patients in the ICU have elevated levels of harmful bacteria, requiring antibiotic treatment. Where the severity of COVID-19 cases is concerned, this indicates that bacteria are a large factor.
In what ways are COVID-19 complications connected to the mouth?
Oral bacteria are likely to make their way into the respiratory tract. The same kinds of bacteria in gum disease might cause or worsen problems such as pneumonia and sepsis.
This connection is where the need for good oral health and hygiene comes in. The movement of harmful bacteria between the mouth and lungs can be lessened with proper oral hygiene. There studies that have revealed that improved oral health may reduce the possibility of ventilator-associated pneumonia in ICU patients as well as help stop bacterial superinfection.
Don’t postpone caring for your oral health!
While COVID-19 makes it a frightening time to visit the dentist or periodontist, now is the right time to ensure that you have the best oral health that you can! Having healthy teeth and gums can lessen your chances of complications from COVID-19, and is good for your overall wellbeing.
If you’re overdue for a periodontal maintenance visit or have concerns about your gums, get in touch with Periodontal Associates of Memphis to schedule your next appointment.