Doing what you can to stay safe against COVID-19 is essential. But did you know that your oral health can play a role in whether you get the virus as well as the severity of the disease?
Considering that your dental health can affect your immunity and your risk for other health problems, it’s not surprising that you could potentially prevent COVID-19 with better oral hygiene. Here’s how your dental health and the virus have been linked and what you can do to improve your oral hygiene to reduce your risk of getting sick.
Good Oral Health Can Reduce Risk of COVID-19 Complications
Research shows that people who have poor oral health—namely periodontal disease, or gum disease—have a higher risk of experiencing severe COVID-19 and complications of the virus than those who don’t .
These complications include needing a ventilator and being admitted to the ICU as well as a higher risk of death from the virus. This means that maintaining good oral health may help reduce your risk of complications from COVID-19 even if you do become ill with the virus.
Periodontal Health May Influence the Severity of COVID-19
It’s possible that damaged gum tissue, as is the case in gum disease, can weaken the mucosal barrier in the mouth. The mucosal barrier is the barrier that separates the outside environment from the tissues underneath your skin in your mouth. When this barrier is weakened, it’s possible that it could allow the COVID-19 virus to enter the bloodstream and cause lung disease in those with the virus .
As a result, taking care of your smile and taking simple steps towards better oral care may help reduce transmission of the virus and reduce your risk for developing lung disease, which causes the most severe form of COVID-19.
How Can You Have Better Oral Hygiene?
So we’ve seen that managing your oral health may reduce your chances of getting COVID 19. Survival against the virus may even depend partially on good oral hygiene and proper gum health .
How can you support better oral hygiene to potentially prevent COVID-19?
- Make oral health a priority. Brush and floss your teeth daily, eat healthy, and drink enough water to keep your mouth clean and your teeth strong.
- Visit your dentist. Your dentist can identify oral health problems early and treat conditions such as developing gum disease before they impact your smile and your bodily health.
- Quit smoking. Smoking not only impacts your oral health, but your immune system, which can make illness more likely and a COVID infection more severe.
It never hurts to be too cautious against a life-threatening illness. Since maintaining your dental health is a simple way you can help protect yourself against COVID-19, it makes sense to take care of your smile for a lower risk!