Gum disease in Waverly is a preventable infection that destroys the supporting structures of your teeth, making it the leading cause of tooth loss. At least 50% of Americans are believed to have the infection. There are countless studies connecting gum disease to several health issues, like cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. New research has also found another concern linked to the infection. A recent study has discovered a correlation between gum disease and respiratory failure in COVID patients.
Gum Disease and COVID Complications
Gum disease occurs from bacteria found in plaque and tartar accumulations left behind by poor oral hygiene habits. The infection can wreak havoc on your dental health, ultimately leading to tooth loss. Unfortunately, the bacteria responsible for the infection can also enter your bloodstream. As the bacteria circulate throughout your body, it causes an inflammatory response. Chronic inflammation can destroy tissues throughout the body.
The Journal of the California Dental Association found coronavirus patients who had underlying gum disease were at a higher risk of respiratory failure. High levels of inflammatory products in the blood can damage the lungs, leading to respiratory failure and increased hospitalizations. Although further studies must be conducted, there is already plenty of evidence linking periodontal health to overall systemic health.
Besides respiratory issues, gum disease also shares a connection with other chronic health conditions, like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Both conditions have been shown to increase the risk of severe COVID symptoms. Your dentist in Waverly encourages patients to commit to their oral health to keep their gums healthy while lessening the potential for serious COVID complications.
Protecting Your Gum Health
Gum disease can occur in anyone, but there are certain people who have an increased likeliness for the infection. Individuals over the age of 65 are at the greatest risk of severe gum disease. To combat the infection, it’s best to commit to a healthy oral hygiene routine. Your dentist recommends:
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and tartar-control toothpaste.
- Brush your teeth twice daily for at least two minutes each session.
- Use high-quality dental floss to clean between each tooth at least once daily.
- Don’t smoke or drink alcohol in excess.
- Use an antimicrobial mouthrinse.
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.
If you have signs of gum disease, like red, swollen, or bleeding gums, don’t wait to see your dentist. They’ll create the customized plan you need to stop the infection to promote a healthy mouth and body. Dental offices across the country have updated their safety standards to provide the care you need without the risk of COVID exposure.
About Dr. Jonathan Smiley
Dr. Smiley earned his dental degree at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine. He has completed advanced training at the Dawson Dental Academy to treat complex oral health issues, like gum disease. He combines his training and experience with the latest technologies and techniques to create healthy smiles. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation for periodontal therapy.