From the onset, doctors have revealed that COVID-19 is dangerous for certain groups of people. That is older adults and people with underlying conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
However, research is still discovering new health risk factors that show gum disease linked to Covid-19 patients. In a recent study, researchers divided 568 patients infected with the Coronavirus into two groups-those who faced complications and those with minor issues. They discovered that COVID19 patients with gum disease were 4.5 times likely to need a ventilator, nine times more likely to die, and 3.5 times more likely to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit- compared to patients who had no dental issues.
What is gum disease?
Also referred to as gingivitis in the early stages and periodontist in the later stages, gum disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth that infect the teeth tissue. That results in inflammation.
The bacteria then form plaque that builds up on your teeth, and without proper dental hygiene, it spreads below the gums, increasing the disease process. When the gums become inflamed, they start to pull away from the teeth as the disease spreads. Eventually, the teeth may fall out or start shifting around.
Some of the most common gum disease symptoms include tooth sensitivity, bleeding, bad breath, and swollen gums. However, a professional dentist will help with periodontal disease treatment, among other dental-related issues, before they escalate.
What is the connection between gum disease and COVID-19?
Most people fail to understand that your oral health impacts your body in all sorts of ways.
In a recent study, it was discovered high blood marker levels indicate inflammation in COVID-19 patients with gum disease. That means that systemic inflammation could be the reason behind the severe risk of complications.
Additionally, when you have gum disease, you have bacteria in your mouth that can trigger inflammatory cytokines. That weakens your body’s immune system and makes it susceptible to COVID-19. Another theory is that ACE2 receptors, which exist in large numbers in the mouth, may react with the bacteria caused by gum disease. And this results in reduced resistance to COVID-19.
Out of the theories mentioned above, inflammation likely is one of the causes of COVID-19 complications for patients with gum disease.
What should I do to prevent gum disease?
If your gums are frequently bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth, that could be a sign of periodontal disease. Sometimes you may experience swollen, pain, and soreness, although painless gums are also common. That means that gum disease can go for years without getting diagnosed.
To take better care of your oral hygiene, you need to brush your teeth twice a day and floss every day. That helps remove any bacteria that may result in gum disease. Visit a certified dentist at least twice a year as they can clean plaque and discover more complex issues with your teeth. During treatment, you do not have to worry that you have braces and cannot get comprehensive treatment. Having metal or ceramic braces will not be affected.