The Association between Gum Disease and Covid-19

The Association between Gum Disease and Covid-19

August 5, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the world since the end of 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected over 179 million people globally, claiming over a million fatalities over the last year. In addition, researchers have discovered a strong association between periodontitis, a common infection affecting over 70 percent of the US population, and severe Covid-19 outcomes.

Gum disease produces an inflammatory response spreading through the body, and researchers have earlier linked the condition to several other systemic issues. However, after discovering the Association between Covid-19 and periodontitis by researchers from McGill University, information is now seeping out that people with gum disease are 8.8 times more likely to succumb to Covid-19. The report will undoubtedly scare people with this condition to wonder how they can avoid contacting gum disease while also adopting the prevention techniques advised by the CDC to safeguard themselves from Covid-19.

How Detrimental Is the Covid-19 Pandemic for People with Gum Disease?

The Covid-19 pandemic has various outcomes in people affected by a coronavirus. Studies by researchers in Canada from the McGill University in Montréal now reveal a link between inflamed gums and the complications of Covid-19 and fatalities.

The study revealed that people with periodontitis were 8.8 times more likely to succumb to Covid-19. Besides, the above people with gum disease are 3.5 times likely to require hospitalization for this pandemic and 4.5 times likely to need ventilators in hospitals. The McGill Faculty of dentistry highlights the importance of excellent oral health to prevent and manage Covid-19 complications stating a strong correlation between gum disease and Covid-19 outcomes.

What Is Gum Disease?

Patrick V Nicosia, DDS, MS, Inc., states gum disease is a severe infection developing from the accumulation of plaque and bacteria between the teeth and gums. Left untreated mild gum disease gingivitis eventually progresses to periodontitis, causing painful abscesses, tooth movement, damages to the teeth, and erode the underlying jawbone.

Gum disease in any form is entirely preventable by maintaining excellent oral hygiene with brushing twice daily, flossing at least once, and visiting the dentist for six-monthly exams and cleanings. However, left untreated and allowed to progress to periodontitis, the condition is a risk factor for many health complications like heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, and cancer.

The Association of periodontitis also exists between an increased risk of pregnancy complications like pre-eclampsia and low birth weight among children. Periodontitis is a common dental infection affecting 70 percent of Americans at some point in their lives. Periodontitis is an invisible pandemic, just as Covid-19. Although dentists in Houston, TX, are trying to raise awareness of this condition among people and encouraging them to make additional efforts to maintain periodontal health during the Covid-19 pandemic, people for reasons unknown seem to allow both conditions to fester without adhering to the safety guidelines.

Periodontal Disease and Covid-19 Different Pandemics with Similar Results

Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, while Covid-19 is viral. Unfortunately, research available currently indicates the virus and bacteria are working hand in glove, causing more complications among people.

Covid-19, although not entirely preventable, has safeguards against the pandemic helpful in keeping it at bay. However, periodontal disease is entirely avoidable for some reason is allowed to fester in people’s mouths who are not maintaining proper dental hygiene. Both pandemics seem to complement each other, focusing on the negligence of people to cause untold miseries. Is there any mechanism available to help people avoid the complications of both pandemics simultaneously?

Managing Covid-19 with Periodontitis Is Challenging but Not Impossible

The CDC recommends safeguards against both conditions, and dentists and people must ensure they follow them diligently without exceptions.

People noticing the initial symptoms of gingivitis must contact their dentist to inquire about the preventive methods they can adopt to stop the progression of the disease to periodontitis. In addition, people indulging in periodontal maintenance must ensure they stay away from moving around in public unless it becomes inevitable adopting the safety measures recommended to ensure the coronavirus doesn’t affect them.

Managing the coronavirus requires extra effort by masking themselves, maintaining safe distancing, washing their hands frequently, and avoiding public places where crowds have gathered. People with periodontal disease concerned more about their freedom of expression and movement must get themselves vaccinated against the virus if they wish to avoid the complications of periodontal disease and Covid-19. Besides the above, one can’t think of a better measure to simultaneously manage coronavirus and periodontal disease.

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