Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in February 2020, it has become common knowledge that the virus can transmit through aerosols and oral fluids. Global medical bodies then concluded that wearing masks was the best way to curb the spread. This led to the abrupt closure of millions of dental offices as it primarily dealt with oral care. However, a recent study published in EFP's Journal of Clinical Periodontology (JCP) points out that dental complications like periodontitis have far worse consequences in patients with Covid-19.
In this blog, we'll take a closer look at the findings.
Conducted in Qatar, the case-control study had 568 patients with periodontitis, all of whom had a higher risk of admission to ICUs, need for ventilators, or even death if infected with Covid-19. Researchers conducted the study by collecting information on gum disease and other factors that could lead to Covid-19 complications such as smoking, asthma, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and body mass index. They also collected information on blood levels of chemicals related to inflammation in the body.
A very concerning statistic is that people with periodontitis are 4.5 times more likely to need a ventilatory, 3.5 times more likely to be admitted to an ICU, and 9 times more likely to die when compared to those without gum diseases that contract COVID-19. Of the 568 participants, 40 had complications (ICU admission, ventilator requirement, or death). The study also found that gum diseases caused increased blood levels of biomarkers that would cause worse diseases.
Mario Sanz, researcher, and author, from Complutense University in Madrid, Spain, said the “chances of periodontitis patients infecting their lungs are high". “This may contribute to the deterioration of patients with Covid-19 and raise the risk of death," he said. "Hospital staff should identify Covid-19 patients with periodontitis and use oral antiseptics to reduce transmission of bacteria." (European Federation of Periodontology (EFP), 2021).
While it's always been essential to maintain good oral hygiene, complications relating to gum diseases have shown to lead to terrible consequences in relation with COVID-19. This shows that you should always take your oral health seriously by brushing and flossing at least twice a day on a daily basis.
Staff, E. (2021, February 03). Gum disease linked To COVID-19 COMPLICATIONS. Retrieved March 08, 2021, from