As we endure the COVID-19 pandemic, there are those who are trying to keep from leaving the house whenever possible and are avoiding any potentially unnecessary appointments. But is it wise to postpone dental checkups and cleanings?
The British Dental Journal recently published a paper that suggests otherwise.
Dentists have long known about the way your oral health is connected to the wellbeing of your body.
Victoria Sampson's paper looks into the ways that oral bacteria may be related to many of the COVID-19 virus's serious complications.
What complications are related to COVID-19?
The virus' dangerous complications include:
- Septic shock
- Blood clots
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
The complications of COVID-19 are actually more likely to cause death than the virus. And, though COVID-19 is a virus, many of these complications are actually are the result of bacteria. Studies are finding that eighty percent of patients in the ICU with COVID have elevated levels of these harmful bacteria, necessitating antibiotic treatment. Where the severity of COVID-19-related infections is concerned, these studies indicate that bacteria are an important factor.
How is oral health related to complications of COVID-19?
Oral bacteria have a good chance of making their way into the respiratory tract. The same kinds of bacteria found in periodontal disease can cause or worsen health conditions such as sepsis or pneumonia.
This is where the need for good oral health and hygiene comes in. Oral hygiene can lessen the transfer of bad types of bacteria between the lungs and mouth. There studies that have revealed that better oral health may reduce the chances of ventilator-associated pneumonia in patients in the ICU as well as help prevent the risk of bacterial superinfection.
Don't stop maintaining your oral health!
While it may be a scary time to visit the dentist, this is when it is most important to ensure you have the best oral health you can. Having good oral health may reduce your chances of COVID-19-related complications, and is good for your body overall.
If you have an oral issue you would like looked into, or are overdue for a checkup, get in touch with our office to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Hill.