A new study by the University of Health Sciences in Istanbul, Turkey has found that poor oral health may lead to worse COVID-19 symptoms. Researchers assessed the dental records of 1,500 people who tested positive for COVID-19 and found that among those with the poorest oral health, they suffered more severe COVID-19 symptoms than those with better oral health.
While the researchers cannot be sure why the COVID-19 patients with poor oral health may experience worse COVID-19 symptoms than those with excellent oral health, there are several factors that may be at play.
First, statistically speaking those who struggled with COVID-19 more frequently had pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. These are often related to obesity, which is frequently related to poor oral health. These patients were found to experience more severe symptoms and even death more frequently than those with healthier teeth and gums.
As for the connection between poor oral health and COVID-19, another direct culprit may be the presence of oral bacteria from poor oral health. This bacteria can travel throughout the body by entering the bloodstream. This in turn can cause inflammation of the heart and joints. It can also contribute to the worsening of diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
If you are concerned about your own oral health, thankfully it is never too late to start correcting damage caused to teeth and gums by poor oral health habits. First, it is important to brush twice a day, for at least two minutes at a time, and to floss at least once a day, preferably at night. Also, recent studies have shown that in addition to its many benefits to your oral health, using mouthwash may help prevent the spread of COVID-19, so adding this step to your routine is a great idea.
Next, a trip to the dentist is in order! If you haven’t been in to see Dr. Abelar in a while, schedule your appointment to see him today.
As for preventing COVID-19, the following measures are still recommended: wearing face masks, washing hands frequently, staying at least six feet apart, and now getting vaccinated against this devastating illness.