With the pandemic still in full force, you might be inclined to skip your bi-annual cleaning with your dentist. But it’s more important than ever to keep those appointments — especially if you have or think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 (once you’re no longer contagious, that is).

Room Chair - Covid Protocols

Each day at The Houston Dentists, we’re keeping apprised of the newest discoveries of how COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on people. A new international study published on February 1 shows a strong link between COVID-19 and periodontitis, or gum disease.

Without proper treatment from a dental professional, this serious gum infection damages the soft tissue around your teeth and eventually destroys the bones that support your teeth. Adhering to your regular check-ups means issues are caught earlier and can be treated with much less risk, pain, injury, and cost to you. COVID-19 brings even more issues to the table.

With nearly 600 COVID-19 positive patients involved in the study, those with gum disease were 3.54 times more likely to be admitted to intensive care, 4.57 times more likely to be placed on a ventilator, and nearly nine times (8.81) more likely to die than those without.

The study also showed that the people with periodontitis had significantly higher white blood cell count and c-reactive protein serum levels than those without, which might indicate a possible link of systemic inflammation, which may explain higher complication rates.

“The results of the study suggest that the inflammation in the oral cavity may open the door to the coronavirus becoming more violent,” Lior Shapira, co-author of the study and a professor of the Hebrew University, Israel, said. “Oral care should be part of the health recommendations to reduce the risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes.”

Our team at The Houston Dentists are doing our part to keep your mouth healthy. We have also implemented signifigant COVID-19 safety precautions when you visit our office. Again, we implore you not to miss your regular check-ups. Make your appointment by calling (713) 597-5640 or online.

Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcpe.13435