Why having bad oral health could raise the risk of Covid

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If you don’t brush your teeth, your dentist will have problems, but as a pandemic begins, this can lead to more serious problems. There is mounting evidence that poor oral health increases the risk associated with COVID.

Research shows that people with poor oral health may develop more severe symptoms if they catch coronavirus… Patients with COVID who also have gum disease are 3.5 times more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit than those who do not. They are also 4.5 times more likely to require mechanical ventilation and nine times more likely to die from COVID.

It may sound shocking, but the fact that there is a link between oral health and COVID is less surprising when you consider the links between oral hygiene and other diseases. Poor oral hygiene is associated with the exacerbation of many other diseases. This mainly occurs when poor hygiene is maintained for a long time, resulting in dysbiosis – when bacteria in the mouth pass from a peaceful state to an aggressive one.

Once the bacteria in the mouth escalate, they can cause gum disease, chew on tissue mouth and into the bloodstream. Once there, bacteria can travel through the body and settle in various organs, increasing the level of inflammation and, over time, contributing to various specific and chronic conditions.

Indeed, if this happens, there is hardly a body part that cannot potentially be influenced. Poor oral health can affect heart, lift up blood pressure and aggravate diabetes by increasing blood sugar… This was due to premature birth, arthritis, kidney disease, respiratory infection and even some neurodegenerative diseasesincluding Alzheimer’s disease

Is it the same with COVID?

Perhaps. Compared to people with mild to moderate symptoms, people with severe COVID have elevated levels of a specific inflammatory marker (called CRP). Some people with severe COVID also suffer from the so-called “cytokine storm “where is the immune system goes into overdrive fights the virus and at the same time damages the body’s own tissues.

Research shows that people with poor oral health also occasionally have elevated levels of CRP and cytokines, suggesting that gum disease can trigger the same jealous immune response as COVID (albeit to a lesser extent).
Thus, if these two diseases occur at the same time, when coronavirus and aggressive oral bacteria are circulating in the blood, then it is possible that together they can tilt the immune response to damage the body’s own tissues, which will lead to worse consequences for humans.

However, we currently have little understanding of exactly how oral hygiene and COVID interact, and perhaps they are combined in other ways to make the disease worse.

For example, a big problem with COVID and other respiratory viral diseases – bacterial superinfections. These are places directly infected with a virus, such as the lungs and respiratory tract, which are simultaneously infected with bacteria.

Bacterial superinfections are general v people who have COVIDand they much more often in people with severe illness. It is not known what kind of impact they have, but this it is reasonable to assume that these co-infections increase the risk of serious illness and death.

Throughout the pandemic studies found that a significant proportion of people dying from COVID – in some cases 50% – were simultaneously contaminated with bacteria.

Poor oral hygiene can increase the risk of superinfection. Poor oral hygiene results in more aggressive bacteria in the mouth, which can then easily become infected. inhaled into the airways and lungs to start superinfection.
In addition, poor oral health can also help the coronavirus infect the body. The enzymes of bacteria that cause gum disease can change the surface the mouth and respiratory tract, making it easier for other microbes, such as the coronavirus, to adhere to and grow there.

Over time, it will become clearer how exactly oral health affects the progression of COVID. Perhaps, in some people, all of these mechanisms are involved at the same time.

But so far there is enough evidence to consider poor oral hygiene as a risk factor for complications in those with COVID, and especially those already suffering from conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease, as these can be exacerbated. poor oral health and are themselves risk factors for COVID.

It is therefore more important than ever to maintain good oral hygiene. This means brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes with fluoride toothpaste and visiting your dentist regularly. Hopefully you don’t get the coronavirus, but if you do, good oral health and oral care can significantly reduce your risk of developing serious symptoms.

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