COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire world. It is a global emergency declared by the World Health Organization (WHO). People continue to fight the battle against this virus, as there is no immediate cure for this deadly infection.
During this time of the pandemic, many are stressing over maintaining good oral health. Poor dental health could be connected to serious COVID-19 complications due to harmful oral bacteria.
Many countries and top medical companies are striving to produce a safe and effective vaccine. Meanwhile, we can take good care of our oral hygiene and protect our body against this deadly virus.
Improved dental health may keep COVID-19 at bay
Oral hygiene becomes imperative in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection. Patients with a severe form of COVID-19 have reported high levels of inflammatory bacteria and markers. Over half of the COVID-19 deaths occurred in patients that had bacterial superinfections. To reduce the risk of a bacterial superinfection and load of bacteria in the mouth, oral dental care becomes vital.
Patients with hypertension, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease may have high chances of contracting the virus if they do not maintain good oral health. Obesity and high blood pressure are also associated with poor oral hygiene.
It is advised to visit your dentist every six months to detect any early signs of oral problems, which can pose greater risks if left unattended, e.g. patients suffering from periodontitis. If the patient ignores an open wound in the oral cavity, it is an open invite to deadly diseases similar to COVID -19.
Oral health and COVID-19
The high bacterial load in the mouth can increase the risk of COVID-19 complications. During lung infection, there is a high chance of taking in oral secretion into the lungs, which in turn could cause an infection. Some of the oral bacteria present in the mouth can cause infections such as Fusobacterium nucleatum, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Prevotella intermedia.
Inadequate oral hygiene will increase the risk of inter-bacterial exchanges between the mouth and the lungs. Even if COVID-19 is a viral disease, it is suspected that in severe cases, complications such as pneumonia may be caused by bacterial infections that can originate in the mouth. Thus, oral hygiene is absolutely necessary during this pandemic.
Saliva act a protective shield against COVID-19
The role of saliva is to continuously cleanse the oral cavity. Human saliva is vital to keep viral infections away. It is the first line of defense against any disease. Our saliva contains a large number of peptides and proteins that have antiviral effects to fight against COVID-19 and other similar viruses. If there is reduced saliva secretion, it may lead to acute respiratory infection. Hyposalivation could increase the risk of getting coronavirus.
A good oral hygiene routine with timely dental check-ups and a healthy lifestyle are essential for protecting oral health and maintaining general health. If you are looking for any dental emergency treatment during COVID-19, get in touch with our dentist in West Des Moines to schedule an appointment. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any oral health-related questions.