Oral health and COVID-19 – Here’s what you need to know about the link | Photo Credit: Pixabay
- Good oral health is necessary to maintain the overall health
- The human teeth is the only part of the body that does not possess the ability of self healing
- The enamel, topmost covering of the tooth is the hardest part of the human body
New Delhi: Each part of the human body works as an indicator of the overall healthiness of the body. Oral health is also a prominent window to holistic health. During these crucial times, it is important to be vigilant about the signs and risks that can have an adverse consequence on the body. A recent study by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) throws light on the link between oral health and the severity of a COVID-19 infection. According to the study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, called “Association between periodontitis and severity of COVID-19 infection: A case-control study”, it was found that oral health can contribute to the severity of a COVID-19 infection in patients.
COVID-19 and Oral health
Dr James G. Wilson, the President of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) said, “It is well-established that systemic inflammation is not only linked with periodontal disease but to several other respiratory diseases as well. Therefore, maintaining healthy teeth and gums in an effort to avoid developing or worsening periodontal disease is absolutely crucial in the midst of a global pandemic like COVID-19, which is also known to trigger an inflammatory response.”
The effect of periodontitis, commonly known as gum disease was highlighted through this study. “Periodontitis has been considered as a risk factor for a number of both oral and systemic diseases,”, Wenji Cai, co-author of the study said. “It’s an invisible pandemic. We need to raise awareness of the disease and make more effort to maintain periodontal health, especially during this global pandemic.”, he added.
Giving more insight into the results, Cai said, “Periodontitis causes inflammation of the gums and, if left untreated, that inflammation can spread throughout the body. In patients with severe cases of COVID-19, the virus causes an inflammatory response that can lead to complications such as being intubated or even death. Our research shows that periodontitis can exasperate this.”
Tips for healthy teeth
Here are some ways in which you can maintain your oral health:
- Avoid excessive consumption of sugar.
- Flossing the teeth at least once a day must be practised.
- A balanced and healthy diet must be consumed.
- Brushing of teeth must not be skipped. Furthermore, toothpaste containing fluoride must be used.
- Lifestyle practices such as smoking or alcohol consumption must be avoided.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.