Gum disease and poor oral hygiene can increase your risk of Covid complications

If you have gum disease or poor oral hygiene, you could be struck by a bad case of Covid-19—with a risk for complications—according to this study.
Brush your teeth at night to maintain oral hygiene
Brush your teeth at night to maintain oral hygiene. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
ANI Updated: 22 May 2021, 13:07 pm IST
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As per a new report, studies show that maintaining good oral hygiene can help you overcome Covid-19, implying that there is a direct connection between oral hygiene and the deadly infection.

This report was published in the US’s leading organisation of periodontists, the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP).

Dr James G. Wilson, President of the AAP, mentioned in the report, “It is well-established that systemic inflammation is not only linked with periodontal disease but to several other respiratory diseases as well. Therefore, maintaining healthy teeth and gums in an effort to avoid developing or worsening periodontal disease is absolutely crucial in the midst of a global pandemic like Covid-19, which is also known to trigger an inflammatory response.”

The link between oral health and Covid-19 complications

A report by McGill University in Montreal, Canada, found a direct link between gums with inflammation and infection, and even connected how oral hygiene can play a role in aggravating Covid-19 complications and even lead to deaths.

According to this study, people who have gum issues or periodontitis are 8.8 times more likely to die of Covid-19. Not just this, such people are 3.5 times more likely to require hospitalisation for Covid-19 and 4.5 times more likely to require a ventilator.

gum disease
Keep your oral health in check. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

It has also come to light that oral health plays a pivotal role even in the Covid post-recovery period. Shedding more light on this, Dr Mohendar Narula, Founder and Chairman of MyDentalPlan Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. said, “Taking care of your gums and oral hygiene was always vital but it has become even more significant during this pandemic. In this second wave of COVID-19, oral symptoms are on the rise.”

Here’s how you can maintain good oral health

Says Dr Narula: “Maintaining optimum gum health with simple steps such as brushing twice a day, tongue cleaning, flossing and gargles can help people combat these life-threatening diseases even better. Furthermore, professional dental cleanings twice a year and regular dental check-ups are known to minimize the severity of Covid-19 and the associated complications.”

Adding to it Dr Narula said, “The second wave of Covid-19 is also witnessing mucormycosis, a deadly fungal infection affecting the gums, teeth and the peri-oral area, developing as a post-Covid-19 complication among immunocompromised individuals with poor gum and oral health status. It has now come to light that taking care of oral hygiene can also help people safeguard themselves even from this post-Covid-19 complication.”

Oral care should be a part of health recommendations for every individual and its importance has increased significantly during this pandemic.

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