According to Iqaluit Dental Clinic, since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors have known the danger it poses to high-risk groups including people with underlying health complications and the elderly. However, researchers have discovered a new risk factor that links gum disease to COVID-19 complications. Let’s dive deeper and check it out.
- Gum Disease – Also known as gingivitis in its early stage and periodontitis in the later stages, gum disease is caused by harmful bacteria in the mouth that can infect the gums or tissues surrounding your teeth and result in inflammation. Without proper care, bacteria colonies from the plaque on your teeth can harden and spread below the gums and increase the severity of the disease.
At first, gums are inflamed and slowly start to pull away from the teeth with the progression of the disease. This weakens your teeth, and they start shifting around till they eventually fall out. Symptoms of gum disease include tooth sensitivity, bad breath, bleeding swollen gums, and changes in bite force.
- Risk of periodontal disease in Canada – You may think that periodontal disease is quite uncommon. However, you’ll be surprised. Canada doesn’t have a public dental health plan and according to the Canadian Dental Health Association, seven out of 10 Canadians develop some disease at some point in their life. It also becomes more common with older age as your body’s natural capability of fighting bacteria weakens.
Gum disease is usually more common in men and smokers. People with systemic conditions like diabetes, hypertension and respiratory disease are also highly exposed to the risks of periodontal disease. However, it can affect anyone. With that out of the way, let’s check out its links to COVID-19 complications.
- Gum disease and COVID-19 complications – Unlike popular belief, your oral health is deeply connected to your overall health. Researchers have already linked gum disease to problems of the circulatory system and respiratory systems and new studies during the pandemic show it can also lead to COVID-19 complications. In the most recent study, researchers discovered that COVID-19 patients with gum disease had high levels of blood markers indicating inflammation.
When you have gum disease, microbes and bacteria in your mouth can trigger inflammatory cytokines that mess up your immune system. This condition is known as a “cytokine storm” where those protective proteins force an overactive immune response to COVID-19. This results in severe inflammation all over the body. Even if gum disease may not cause a cytokine storm, it may prepare the stage for new and unfamiliar diseases like COVID-19. The same bacteria may even result in COVID-19 complications if the patient inhales them into their lungs.
Iqaluit Dental Clinic suggests that you don’t treat gum diseases lightly even when the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Even without the pandemic, gum disease is linked to your overall health. Periodontitis can lead to coronary artery disease, high blood sugar, respiratory disease and more such problems.