How Routine Dental Care Can Help Reduce COVID Complications
A new study reported by Medical Xpress found that COVID-19 patients with gum disease were three times more likely than those who did not suffer from periodontitis to have complications, as well as 4.5 times more likely to need a ventilator, and, most shockingly, nine times more likely to die from this coronavirus.
Another study published in the Journal of Medicine and Life reported that periodontitis can affect the course of respiratory infections like COVID, as well as pneumonia, COPD, and asthma. About 20% of those with COVID develop severe respiratory problems.
Inadequate brushing and flossing, combined with diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, create conditions in which gum infection can thrive. Most patients have been concerned about how this can lead to losing some or all of their teeth, since periodontal disease causes the infected gums to pull away support, as well as erode the jawbone underneath.
However, we already were aware that periodontal infection also raises the risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, as the oral bacteria spread throughout the body. Now, COVID raises the stakes much higher, making it even more important to have good oral care habits to prevent it and avoid these newly-discovered complications.
The symptoms of periodontal disease can include red, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums, pain when chewing, loose or sensitive teeth, and receding gums (which may just make it seem like your teeth are a bit longer).
Being proactive and careful about thoroughly brushing twice a day and flossing once is the foundation for keeping your mouth and body healthy. You should also have a professional cleaning done at least twice a year by your dental hygienist, who has special tools and techniques to scrape and flush away dental plaque (the sticky film from leftover particles of food and drink you didn’t brush off) and tartar (which plaque becomes when it is hardened and much more difficult to remove).
If you smoke, you should try harder to quit, since this makes your entire body, including your mouth, more susceptible to disease. So do diets that are low in vegetables and fiber, but high in sugar and white flour in all its forms.
Like exercise, taking care of your oral health should be a vital part of your daily efforts to stay healthy. Be sure to have a dental exam twice a year, so that any kind of infection can be nipped in the bud, avoiding costly treatment and serious complications.
With these findings and data, it is more important to continue your dental exams and see your dentist even if you may not initially feel anything wrong. The team at CITIDental can help you maintain your dental health and make sure no problems significantly affect you and affect your risk of COVID complications. To schedule an appointment, contact our team today!