Bleeding gums when brushing your teeth might seem a common and trivial inconvenience, but research shows that it can put you at serious risk of developing severe or fatal Covid-19 as well as other illnesses such as dementia, diabetes and heart disease.
About eight in ten over-35s have had some level of gum disease that causes bleeding, according to the European Federation of Periodontology. At its mildest level this is called gingivitis. If it is not treated, the more serious gum infection called periodontitis develops. This afflicts up to half of British adults. It can cause pain and tooth loss as well as bleeding, but the damage can go much further.
This month a study of more than 500 Covid-19 patients established a worrying association