The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world forever. As the world learns to control and live with the implications of this novel disease, scientists are working hard to understand all the effects the disease can have on the body. Fortunately for dental professionals, a lot of research has been done to understand the effects of Covid-19 on dental health.
So, how does Covid-19 affect dental health, and how do underlying dental conditions play a role in increasing your chances of contracting the disease?
The Link Between Periodontal Disease and Covid-19
Covid-19 and periodontal disease have one thing in common; both conditions are known to cause systemic inflammation. A study by the highly acclaimed Journal of Clinical Periodontology has concluded that there is a strong connection between gum disease and severe Covid-19 complications.
This extensive case-control study involved about 500 patients demonstrated that periodontitis was associated with higher admission to intensive care for Covid-19.
The results were tracked using electronic health data records and showed that periodontitis patients were 3.5 times more likely to be admitted to intensive care and 4.5 times more likely to need a ventilation, with about a 9 times higher rate of death amongst hospitalised patients.
Among the 258 patients who presented periodontitis, 33 experienced Covid-19 complications while only seven of the 310 patients without periodontitis presented complications.
Patients with both Covid-19 and periodontal disease showed high levels of protein markers in the blood associated with more negative disease outcomes.
Signs of Severe Periodontal Disease
If you are currently experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your dentist immediately for a complete dental check-up.
- Severe inflammation or pus between your gums and your teeth
- Persistent bad breath that is not resolved with brushing and mouth wash
- Regular and excessive bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth
- Gums that bleed easily, especially when eating hard fruits like apples
- Persistent tenderness of the gums. If your gums feel swollen or puffy, it could indicate the onset of periodontal disease.
Protect Yourself from Covid-19 with Good Dental Health
Decades of research has shown a conclusive link between poor dental health and other diseases that affect the body. Excessive inflammation in the body caused by periodontal disease can lead to heart conditions, diabetes and other immunological disorders.
Dental Specialist and Emergency Dental Services
If you are concerned about your oral health and would like to know how it increases your chances of contracting severe Covid-19, contact King Street Dental today. Our clinic follows strict Covid-19 safety protocols designed to keep you and your family safe. Dental professionals are adept at controlling aerosols and maintaining the highest levels of safety to prevent germs from spreading.