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Covid and Oral Health: How Gum Disease may affect Covid Infections

Covid and Oral Health: How Gum Disease may affect Covid Infections

Covid-19 has had a profound impact on the world around us.  It has influenced virtually every aspect of our lives from our personal health to the economies of our home and cities we live in.  While vaccines may eventually provide a path back to normal lives, the importance of good personal health has never been more relevant than at this time.  Good oral health may play a role in how a Covid infection is managed by your body.  People with active gum disease display a higher level of chronic inflammation in their bodies.  Generally, active chronic infection in the gum tissue creates a consistent immune response by the body to fight this infection.  Specifically, cellular components of the immune system called neutrophils may exist at a higher level in those patients with uncontrolled active gum disease.  When neutrophils are circulating in the body at a higher level, any secondary infection such as Covid-19 could cause the immune system to overreact to these infections.  Neutrophils release cytokines and “cytokine storms” have had a profound negative impact on the outcomes of Covid-19 infections.  This may explain why patients with active gum tissue have had poorer Covid-19 outcomes.

It is imperative that any degree of gum inflammation be managed appropriately and promptly by your dental team.  Your dentist and dental hygienist can ensure good periodontal health with a timely treatment of any gum condition.  If you suspect you may have a gum infection, do not hesitate to seek out a dentist that can assist you with a plan to better oral health. Your mouth and overall health may be at risk!

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