For the past 18 months, we’ve all been doing our part to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The virus has impacted most of us in some way or another, with some of us in significant ways. But while many people have done their due diligence to help reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19, infection is still possible in anyone. Unfortunately, for those with poor oral health, a new study has found that COVID-19 symptoms can be worse – especially if they have cardiovascular disease.
The study took place at Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt, and found that among patients with positive COVID-19 tests, those with poor oral health such as periodontal disease, suffered more severe COVID-19 symptoms than those with better oral health. Researchers hypothesize that this is because COVID-19 can harbor itself in oral tissues, and those tissues -especially those which are inflamed due to periodontal disease- can allow the virus to enter the bloodstream and affect the heart.
This is another excellent case for keeping your teeth and gums healthy by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth, as well as staying on top of your dental exams and cleanings. While brushing regularly may not prevent you from getting COVID-19, it could help lessen the severity of your symptoms should you contract it.
Remember, your best defenses against COVID-19 are:
-Wearing a mask when out in public. Surgical masks are recommended over cloth masks, and should only be worn once or twice before disposal.
-Frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water, with hand sanitizer in between washings (not in lieu of washing).
-Social distancing – staying at least six feet apart from others when out in public
-Vaccination is recommended by the CDC.
If you currently have a diagnosis of periodontal disease, don’t avoid your dental exams and cleanings with Dr. Abelar. Keeping on top of your gum health is a great way to reduce infection and prevent it from worsening. Antimicrobial mouthwashes can help keep the gums clean and free of bacteria which could worsen both heart conditions and inflammation. This could in turn help lessen the severity of the symptoms should you contract COVID-19.
To schedule your appointment with Dr. Abelar and make sure your teeth and gums are healthy, please contact the office today.