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Gum disease linked to COVID-19 complications

The Times yesterday (16/2/21) included an article referencing research published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, the official publication of the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP).

COVID-19 patients are at least three times more likely to experience
complications if they also have gum disease, according to the research.

The study of more than 500 patients with COVID-19 found that those with gum disease were 3.5 times more likely to be admitted to intensive care, 4.5 times more likely to need a ventilator, and almost nine times more likely to die compared to those without gum disease.

“The results of the study suggest that the inflammation in the oral cavity may open the door to the coronavirus becoming more violent,” said Professor Lior Shapira, EFP president-elect. “Oral care should be part of the health recommendations to reduce the risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes.”

Periodontitis, a serious form of gum disease, affects up to half of all adults worldwide. Periodontitis causes inflammation of the gums and, if left untreated, inflammation can spread throughout the body.

What you can do to prevent gum disease:

• Brush your teeth carefully more than once a day using a manual or powered toothbrush.
• Clean between your teeth daily using an interdental brush (or floss if the gaps are too tight).
• Specific mouth rinses or toothpastes can be used on top of cleaning to reduce inflammation (please discuss this with us at Ikon).
• Do not smoke, maintain a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet, exercise, reduce stress.
• If you have diabetes, control your blood sugar.

If you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us for advice or to make an appointment.

The full article can be seen here.

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