Studies are finding that periodontitis, also known as periodontal disease or gum disease, can be linked to susceptibility to the coronavirus and more severe Covid-19 complications.
In an April 11th article The Wall Street Journal cites a study from the Journal of Clinical Periodontology explaining that Covid-19 patients with periodontitis, which is the most severe form of gum disease, were at a much higher risk of major complications including admission to an intensive-care unit, the need to be put onto a ventilator, and death.
The article goes on to say that because of the Covid-19 restrictions, many Americans have been putting off dental visits, and that if you experience symptoms such as bleeding gums, increased bad breath, loose teeth or pain or swelling in the gums, it is important to schedule an appointment with your general dentist or a periodontist.
Similarly, an April 21st article in Newsmax, which cites a study from Journal Of Oral Medicine And Dental Research, referenced a connection between periodontal disease and the spread of Covid-19. In this study researchers found that although Covid-19 is thought to spread through the upper respiratory system, there is also evidence that the virus can spread by settling in saliva and entering the bloodstream through openings in the gums. And that in patients suffering from gum disease these openings could be more susceptible to infection.
This study also finds that patients with gum disease are more likely to have more severe complications from a Covid-19 infection than patients who are not suffering from gum disease.
Both articles recommend improved oral hygiene and getting back to a routine of visiting your dentist or periodontist. Prevention is the key to stopping the spread of periodontal disease and in some instances the novel coronavirus.