There is no denying that the world has changed considerably over the past 12 months. Due to the pandemic, life is not as we once knew it. One thing that has changed from a dentistry perspective is the need to wear facemasks when entering the clinic and to respect social distancing rules. However, there are advancements that have been made in terms of researching the connection between oral health and the virus itself. With that being said, in this post, we are going to take a look at the relationship between COVID-19 and periodontal disease specifically in further detail.
Systemic inflammation can be a symptom of both periodontal disease and COVID-19 as well. After noticing this similarity, there has been new research that has been conducted and then published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology. It certainly makes good reading because it draws some conclusions regarding the connection between coronavirus and gum disease. In fact, the journal revealed that there is a link between severe COVID-19-related complications and gum disease. So, let’s explore this in further depth.
The nation’s leading organization of periodontists, the American Academy of Periodontology, has stated that these findings show just how significant effective, diligent, and proactive oral care is during the pandemic. It has been clearly established that systemic inflammation is linked with periodontal disease, as well as being linked with a number of different respiratory diseases. As a consequence of this, it is imperative that you keep your gums and teeth in good condition to give yourself the best chance of avoiding periodontal disease developing or getting worse. This is imperative at all times, but it is even more so important during a worldwide pandemic, like COVID-19.
Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease, can result in a number of other symptoms, including bad breath and bleeding gums. If it is not treated, it can also end up causing tooth loss. Research that has been carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the American Academy of Periodontology, has indicated that up to half of the adults in the United States over the age of 30-years-old have some type of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease has been linked to a number of other serious diseases and conditions aside from COVID-19, such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and diabetes.
There are further studies and research that has been carried out in regard to the relationship between COVID-19 and periodontal disease. Using the electronic national health records of the State of Qatar between the months of February and July of 2020, the study assessed patient cases with severe complications relating to COVID-19, for instance, assisted ventilation, ICU admissions, and death. The control group consisted of patients who have had COVID-19 and been discharged without any sort of significant complications. Data from the two groups were assessed in regards to the periodontal disease, utilizing dental radiographs from the same database.
The findings from the study were certainly interesting, to say the least. The study involved 568 patients being assessed. Of those patients, those with the most severe cases of gum disease, i.e. periodontitis, were at least three times more likely to experience complications from coronavirus, which include the need for assisted ventilation, ICU admission, and even death. In addition to this, patients with COVID-19 and periodontitis showed a heightened level of biomarkers associated with worsened disease outcomes, including c-reactive protein, D-dimer, and white blood cells.
Of course, there is more research that needs to be done on this virus. It is still very early days and there is a lot that needs to be done. However, if you look at the research that has been done up to this point, you can see that there is clearly a connection between periodontal disease and COVID-19.
Treating periodontal disease is imperative
Treating periodontal disease has always been important. Allowing it to get worse can result in tooth loss eventually, which is the last thing anyone wants. Plus, when you consider the link between COVID-19 and periodontal disease, you see why it is even more important that you schedule an appointment with a periodontist if you notice any of the signs of periodontal disease.
So, what sort of signs and indications should you be looking for? Examples include the following:
- Pus that is in between your gums and your teeth
- Bad breath
- Spitting out blood when you floss or brush your teeth
- Gums that bleed with ease
- Gums that feel tender whenever you touch them
- A toothbrush that is tinged pink once you have brushed your teeth
- Purplish, dusky red, or bright red gums
- Puffy or swollen gums
If you notice any of the signs that have been mentioned above, the best thing to do is contact us as soon as possible so that we can provide a thorough dental examination. This will enable us to get to the bottom of the symptoms you have and whether or not this is periodontal disease. If it is periodontal disease, we will be able to discuss your treatment options with you to make sure you have the best recovery plan in place and the condition does not get worse.
Contact The Perio Group to schedule an appointment today
If you require periodontal disease treatment, or you want to achieve the perfect smile with the help of one of the best periodontists in Philadelphia, all you need to do is give The Perio Group a call today. You will speak to one of our friendly and professional team members who will be more than happy to answer any questions you have. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you with your dental concerns.