According to numerous published studies in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, professionals discovered that COVID patients experiencing gum disease have higher chances of encountering severe medical complications. The medical complexities can include the following:
- More likely to be sent to intensive care units due to a weak immune system
- Higher chances of needing a ventilator to remain conscious and maintain stable health
- Almost nine times more likely to die when compared to COVID patients without gum disease
If you wonder why this is so, gum or periodontal disease causes inflammation in your body, a natural response to a bodily infection or injury. It is the body’s reaction against the germs and bacteria invading your system. The human body creates new cells called neutrophils to combat these uninvited guests. These cells work incredibly for gums, but the body ends up making too much of them, and they travel throughout your body’s internal system looking to fight off other infections. These aggressive neutrophil cells cause your immune system to react to any other infection like COVID with too much force, far more than required.
People might think this is a good thing, but it’s very dangerous for the individual in reality. The neutrophil cells delete infections by destroying the tissues around the areas of the body that are affected by the infection. In the case of COVID, this aggressive response by the immune system only leads to more severe symptoms.
We know that heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and respiratory diseases are directly linked to unhealthy gums. So it makes sense that these gum diseases also aid COVID and create severe symptoms, making the medical situation far worse than it should be. It is the recommendation of all medical professionals to ensure your health is appropriately maintained and any medical issues you are facing are dealt with because that’s the best way to increase your chances of surviving if you get infected by COVID.
People tend to take oral healthcare lightly since they don’t know how severely bad dental conditions can affect overall body health. Therefore, patients must understand that good dental health is now also directly linked with factors that reduce the severity of COVID symptoms.
Gum disease is not something that happens to a person overnight. It results from a process that grows over time when the individual ignores the proper maintenance of their oral health and skips their visits to the dentist. At the very start, the plaque that we don’t brush off our teeth starts to build up. The bacteria present in the plaque begin to irritate our gums, making them swell up, sore, or even infected. All these factors gradually lead to gingivitis, an easily treatable oral condition. However, if the person still decides not to go to the dentist to get the necessary treatment, the gingivitis will progress further and develop into gum disease.
Bleeding gums, tooth loss, and bad breath are some of the common symptoms of gum disease. According to the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, about half of the adults aged around 30 and older are experiencing some type of gum disease. Good oral habits and practices like brushing and flossing daily can help people prevent the disease from developing in their gums.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Now that you know about gum disease let’s talk about how we can prevent them from damaging our gums.
- The best way to prevent gum disease is by regularly visiting your dentist and never missing an appointment. Your dentist evaluates your gums during these visits, and if there is any problem brewing in them, the professionals will catch it before it becomes serious.
- People who don’t skip on their daily brushing and flossing can easily protect their teeth and ensure their health.