COVID 19 and Gums

Covid-19 has impacted so much; the economy, our health, mental state, workforce, and now our gums. Covid-19 forced many of us to stay at home for a prolonged period. In this state of flux many made unconscious changes to their diet, hygiene, health, and daily activities. Now we are reassessing what changes were made and how we adjust to the “new normal”

If you have contracted Covid-19 throughout this time, there may be further complications to the health of your teeth and gums, unforeseen in the immediate timeline of recovery. Some studies have suggested that gum disease is linked with severe covid-19 cases. If you were a patient who dealt with Covid-19 you should begin by diligently taking dental hygiene as a priority, and maintain regular checkups with your dentist.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is very common in America. Newer studies are showing a correlation between Covid and gum disease. Gum disease is either acquired through genetics, or developed over time following gum infection. Most predominantly gum disease is traced back to infection, which is a result of poor dental hygiene. If organic food particles are not removed through brushing, flossing, or mouthwash–they may accumulate on the surface of teeth. Over time this accumulation hardens and changes structure to something called plaque, then eventually tartar. These hardened accumulations become viable surface area for bacteria to fester and grow. Once the bacteria and tartar enter your gumline they attack the soft tissue that supports your teeth. They can eventually destroy the bone tissue of your jaw, causing TMJ disorders and tooth loss.

While gum disease is very common throughout the world, studies are suggesting that patients who have experienced Covid-19 are more prone to getting it; and vice versa. Severe gum disease creates a cytokine reaction in your body–and autoimmune response. These autoimmune responses compromise your immune system, making you more susceptible to other forms of disease. For instance diabetic patients, especially those who struggle to balance their blood sugar, become much more likely to experience gum disease. This is because they are immunocompromised.

Immune compromised patients are on a two way street; in one direction they are more prone to become infected with gum disease, on the other they are more prone to suffering more severe disorders from other diseases. If patients with a history of gum disease or infection contract Covid-19 they are in a higher risk category for severe respiratory complications associated with the disease.

What can you do?

The best bet for avoiding Covid-19 was to stay inside, wear a mask, and get vaccinated. Now it seems another beneficial step was upping your attention to dental hygiene. The more fastidious you are with your protection of gums, teeth, and jaw, the less likely you are to get infections. These infections compromise your immune system, leaving you vulnerable to severe diseases, like Covid-19. See your dentist today for a thorough cleaning, and ask for hygiene advice to make sure you are protected.

Gum Swollen around One Tooth