Can Visiting the Dentist Help Prevent COVID-19 Complications?

covid 19 Babylon, NY

With the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many who prefer to stay home as much as possible and prefer avoiding any appointments that are deemed unnecessary. Some people may be wondering, is it a good idea to delay dental checkups and cleanings because of COVID-19?

It turns out that these visits may be more important than you realize, according to a paper published in the British Dental Journal.

Dentists have long known about the oral-systemic connection—the link that exists between the health of the mouth and the wellbeing of the rest of the body.

Victoria Sampson's paper explores how many of COVID-19's more serious complications could be contributed to by oral bacteria.

What are the complications connected with COVID-19?

Some serious COVID-19 complications include:

  • Blood clots
  • Septic shock
  • Sepsis
  • Pneumonia
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)

The complications of the virus are more likely to result in death than the COVID-19 virus itself. And, while COVID-19 is a virus, most of these complications are due to bacterial infection. Studies into cases of COVID-19 ICU patients are finding that eighty percent have elevated levels of harmful bacteria, necessitating antibiotic treatment. The results of these studies imply that bacteria are a large factor in the severity of a COVID-19 case.

In what ways are these complications related to the mouth?

The bacteria from our mouths are likely to find their way into the respiratory tract. A lot of the same varieties of bacteria in periodontitis can worsen or cause problems such as sepsis or pneumonia.

This link is where oral health comes in. The transfer of harmful bacteria between the mouth and lungs can be reduced by taking care of your mouth. There are a number of studies that have revealed that better oral health may lower the possibility of ventilator-associated pneumonia in patients in the ICU and help stop bacterial superinfection.

Don’t avoid maintaining your oral health!

While COVID-19 makes it scary for a dental visit, now is truly the best time to ensure you have the best oral health possible. Good oral health can reduce your risk of COVID-19 complications, and is good for your overall health.

Whether you have a dental issue you want to have checked out, or you are past due for a visit, contact us now to schedule your next visit with Dr. Zeva.

Links:

Article link:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41415-020-1747-8

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