Poor Oral Hygiene Linked to Severe COVID Related Complications
Did you know that the coronavirus and periodontitis (gum infection that can cause oral health complications that ranges from tissue damage to tooth loss) are correlated when it comes to your health? This suggests poor oral hygiene is linked to severe Covid related complications.
Recent evidence from the prestigious Journal of Clinical Periodontology notes that patients that present with periodontitis along with coronavirus have worse outcomes compared to those who do not have such oral complications. The study conducted in Qatar found that covid-19 patients with periodontitis were three times as likely to be admitted to intensive care and almost five times more likely to require a ventilator for survival. Unfortunately, such patients (battling both covid-19 and gum disease) were more likely to die compared to control groups that had either one of the two conditions but not both.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is as much a chronic inflammatory disease as the result of oxidative stress. As it is a microbial infection. This oral ailment is caused by plaque buildup that allows bacteria (thriving in the yellow sticky layer) to collect and harden into tarter over time on the teeth. Periodontitis can make it difficult for the patients to chew due to sore/bleeding gums and loose teeth due to bone loss. It is worth noting that managing a patient’s oral hygiene with local antioxidant medicaments therefore becomes a critical step in reducing inflammation in addition to antimicrobials. PerioSciences products contain both effective antioxidants and antimicrobial ingredients and for that reason, they are essential in managing our patient’s oral health.
How Does Poor Oral Care Correlate to Coronavirus?
Simply put, periodontitis is one of the few oral health complications that make the coronavirus infection more severe and deadly than it already is. The study conducted by Nadya Marouf of the Oral Health Institute, Hamad Medical Corporation in Doha, Qatar, and their team discovered that periodontitis compromises the body’s immune system and works together with coronavirus to deteriorate the body by putting increased stress and strain on it. The oral bacteria responsible for causing periodontitis that thrives in poor oral hygiene can be inhaled in the lungs. Where it can infect the lungs and create an inflammatory response. It teams up with the covid-19 virus as they work together to pack a double whammy punch. Which depending on exogenous variables such as age, gender, and patient health history, can be fatal.
Gum Disease and Survival Rate of Coronavirus Patients
What do these findings mean for the survival of coronavirus patients? For one, it urgently points in the direction of focusing on a patient’s personal oral hygiene. Also, frequency of professional dental cleanings to boost our response to the current coronavirus pandemic. If the healthcare sector seeks to increase the patient’s survival rates when combatting the deadly and incurable coronavirus, then there is an undeniable need to take their oral hygiene status into account. We now have evidence to support this theory.
Hospitals and clinics should identify their covid-19 patients that have inflammatory gum disease. Then ensure oral health care management including use of home care medicaments with antioxidant and antimicrobials. This action will minimize and control the transmission of the bacteria and reduce inflammation. The objective is to put as little strain on the body as it fights against the coronavirus. Can be done by taking care of contributing oral health complications.
Poor Oral Hygiene and Covid – Conclusion
Sam B. Low, dental consultant for PerioSciences Professor Emeritus (University of Florida, College of Dentistry; Advisor and Member of the Pankey Institute) puts it best, ‘This current data (from the study) reinforces again the association with periodontal disease and systemic health, especially respiratory and why oral health is essential to whole body well-being’.
In the light of this new research, oral care is all the more important. PerioSciences Oral Care Systems offer a complete care regime. Seeing your dental professional is important now more than ever during this pandemic. Along with a comprehensive at home oral care regime like PerioSciences and antioxidant oral care line. Be mindful about following SOPs to reduce risks. By wearing a mask and sanitizing your hands and have good oral hygiene! Check out our blog for good oral hygiene instructions.
And don’t forget to perform good oral hygiene every day. Visit your dentist for professional cleaning and checkups for both your mouth health and your overall health.
Reference: Marouf N, Cai W, Said KN, et al. Association between periodontitis and severity of COVID-19 infection: a case-control study. J Clin Periodontol. 2021. doi:10.1111/jcpe.13435. The article was first published as an accepted article on 1 February 2021. This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review. It has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination, and proofreading process. Which may lead to differences between this version and the version of record.