The Deadly Link Between Gum Disease & COVID-19
5 Ways to Fight COVID 19 – It begins with a toothbrush!
What if the Only Thing You Need to Fight COVID-19 is to Brush & Floss Your Teeth Daily?
There are simple solutions to prevent gum disease and give yourself a fighting chance against COVID-19. New research from the Journal of Clinical Periodontology found a direct correlation between COVID-19 deaths and gum diseases.
A study of more than 500 patients discovered that those with gum disease were:
- 4 ½ times more likely to need a ventilator
- 3 ½ times more likely to be admitted to intensive care
- Nine times more likely to die than those patients who did not have gum disease
One of the study’s authors pointed out that patients with gum disease and on a ventilator due to Covid-19 would inhale the oral bacteria increasing lung infection and their risk of death.
The association between periodontitis and lung diseases, including asthma, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is well documented. This study shows links between oral health and respiratory conditions.
What if one of the most key things needed to fight COVID-19 is daily preventative hygiene? The simple act of brushing and flossing our teeth may help to save your life.
Inflammation, a Sour Culprit to Fighting COVID-19
Inflammation is the body’s natural defense to fight off bacteria and warn you when your bodies are under attack. However, when your gums are inflamed because of gingivitis or periodontal disease the risk increases for the bacteria and inflammation already present to further attack your immune system when you are fighting against COVID-19.
The Importance of Dental Health
The gateway to excellent health begins with the daily care of your mouth, teeth, and gums. Brushing your teeth helps avoid plaque build-up, which is a filmy substance that coats your tooth’s enamel. Once the plaque penetrates the enamel in the tooth, decay can set in and cause cavities.
Plaque also weakens the gums and leads to gingivitis. Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that inflames the gums and causes them to become puffy, irritated, and bleed.
Gingivitis leads to periodontitis and results in severe bone infection. Periodontitis is the main precursor of tooth loss.
How to Keep Yourself and Those You Love Safe from COVID & Gum Disease
We’ve all been guilty of forgetting to brush our teeth late at night before we hop into bed. Dr. Burns in Sun City recommends these five steps to remain active in your fight against COVID-19:
- Avoid smoking.
- Eat a balanced diet and reduce stress.
- Floss every day to keep gum inflammation at bay.
- Brush your teeth at least 2x a day preferably with an electric toothbrush.
- Rinse with a mouthwash containing fluoride to further reduce inflammation.
While these five action steps are not the only things you can do to fight off COVID-19, it’s imperative for patients with diabetes to control their blood sugar.
Other issues associated with gum disease include dementia and heart disease. Researchers linked inflamed dental conditions and inflammation in the brain to dementia. Another study found that those patients who brushed their teeth at least three times a day were less likely to experience heart failure.
Make Proper Oral Hygiene a Daily Habit
Periodontitis is a common disease but can be prevented and treated. Now that you are armed with information about keeping yourself and your family safe from exacerbating the COVID-19 effects, it is vital to create an oral hygiene routine.
Studies show that it takes, on average, 21 days for old behaviors to be corrected and a new habit or regimen to be formed. The timeline created by you and your family is an important one, and the sooner you can begin, the better your chance of maintaining your gum and overall dental health.
Burns Dentistry and Dr. Jerry Burns in Sun City, AZ, are ready to help you remain healthy and maintain your proper oral hygiene regimen. Burns Dentistry is committed to providing patients with the highest quality and most cutting-edge treatment and procedures.
Make an appointment today for your yearly exam or consult with the team at Burns Dentistry about your options for fighting COVID-19 and gum disease.