Oral Hygiene and COVID-19

 In Patient Education

In an article published in the British Dental Journal volume 228 no. 12, researchers have identified a possible connection between the oral microbiome and COVID-19 complications. The oral microbiome refers to the colonies of bacteria that reside in your teeth, gums, tongue, cheeks, palate, and tonsils and is comprised of over 600 different types of bacteria.

The researchers suggest that the oral microbiome and its link to COVID-19 symptom severity should be investigated further to establish the importance of oral hygiene and pre-existing oral disease in the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. The four main comorbidities associated with an increased risk of complications from COVID-19 are also associated with altered oral biofilms and periodontal disease. Bacteria that can be present in mouths with periodontal disease, are also implicated in systemic inflammation, bacteraemia, pneumonia, and even death.

In order to reduce the bacterial load in the mouth and the potential risk of a bacterial superinfection, the researchers go on to recommend that oral hygiene be maintained, if not improved during the COVID-19 pandemic. They also recommend that poor oral hygiene be considered a risk to post-viral complications. That risk can be increased in patients who are already predisposed to altered biofilms due to diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease. Bacteria present in patients with severe COVID-19 are associated with the oral cavity and improved oral hygiene may play a part in reducing the risk.

As we learn more about the link between overall health and oral health, it’s becoming more and more clear that the two are inextricably linked together.

If you do not have your next hygiene appointment scheduled, contact your local Altima Clinic today.

For tips on how you can maintain your oral hygiene at home, read this related blog article on At-home Oral Healthcare Tips.

Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41415-020-1747-8.pdf

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