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  • Dr. Rishika Sahay

IMPACT OF ORAL HEALTH ON COVID-19

Everyone is aware of the situation right now, how the entire world is suffering from a pandemic and every individual is fighting their own battle with Covid-19.


Most of us are already know about the systemic relevance of Covid-19 and how people with compromised health conditions like reduced immunity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, etc. are at greater risk of increasing the severity of the disease. But all the things we know about cannot be completely cured or reversed back. It can only be controlled to a certain extent.


But what if I tell you one condition which also increases the severity of Covid-19 but it is under your control and you can reverse it? That’s ORAL HEALTH, and we are going to talk more about that in the next few points.


1. POOR ORAL HYGIENE: According to a few types of research, Poor Oral Health plays a very important role in increasing the severity of Covid-19 and also delays recovery. The mouth is like a reservoir of plenty of good and bad bacteria. The only thing that keeps things under control is the balance between both. But poor oral hygiene leads to an increase in the number of bad bacteria, which can be found in all the liquids in your mouth (Eg: spit, sulcular fluid), inside the gums, on the tooth surface, tongue, etc. These bad oral bacteria also have the potential to cause infection in any other part of the body apart from the mouth. In patients suffering from Covid-19, the lungs are already weak due to the viral infection, and there is a risk of aspirating some part of oral fluid due to which these oral bacteria get transferred from mouth to lungs and contribute to infect and damage lungs even more.

2. HYPOSALIVATION: Decreased production of spit or saliva, leads to increased risk of Covid-19. Human saliva is a complex fluid that contains plenty of proteins, peptides, and antiviral agents. A few of these antiviral agents are also effective against coronavirus. Also, the proteins in the saliva prevent the multiplication of bacteria and hence restrict its spread.

3. OLD AGE: Also for the people above the age of 70, keeping good oral hygiene especially during a pandemic which primarily affects the airway and lungs is even more important, as both poor oral hygiene and hyposalivation contribute to increased risk of airway infections.


HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE GOOD ORAL HYGIENE?


Here’s a checklist for you to identify yourself, where you stand in the oral hygiene game.


1. No hard or soft yellow deposit on the tooth.

2. No bad breath from Oral sources.

3. No new cavities.

4. No bleeding of gums during brushing teeth or eating hard objects.

5. No change in color of gums to red or purple.

6. No recession of gums.

7. No mobile teeth.

8. No missing teeth.

9. No pain associated with any tooth.

10. Enough production of spit/ saliva.

Now, If you are not up to the mark here, you can always change that by taking better care of your oral health. I have already mentioned in my previous blogs everything you need to do to maintain your dental health, be it your gums or teeth. So just follow these few simple measures at home to take yourself one step closer to better overall health.


Also, these are very basic criteria according to which one can get a fair idea about their own oral health at home. For an accurate diagnosis, there are many more points to be considered, and going to a dentist is always the best option.

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