Add Gum Disease to List of Risk Factors for Severe COVID-19

TUESDAY, February 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Continue to floss: New study finds gum disease may increase risk of hospitalization or death if COVID-19 strikes.

The reason? Gum disease can be a sign of inflammation throughout the body.

“It is well established that systemic inflammation is not only linked to periodontal disease, but also to several other respiratory diseases,” said Dr. James Wilson, president of the American Academy of Periodontology.

‚ÄúTherefore, maintaining healthy teeth and gums in an effort to avoid developing or worsening periodontal disease is absolutely crucial amid a global pandemic like COVID-19, which is also known to trigger a response inflammatory, “Wilson said in an academy statement. Release.

In the study, researchers compared patients with COVID-19 in Qatar who had serious complications – including assisted ventilation, ICU admission and death – and those without serious complications.

Of the 568 patients, those with periodontitis – the most severe form of gum disease – were at least three times more likely to have serious complications from COVID-19.

The researchers also found that COVID-19 patients with periodontitis had increased levels of biomarkers (including levels of white blood cells, D-dimer, and C-reactive protein) associated with worse outcomes for COVID. -19.

The study, carried out by Nadya Marouf of the Oral Health Institute, Hamad Medical Corporation in Doha, Qatar, and her colleagues was published online on February 1 in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

Systemic inflammation is a symptom of COVID-19 and can also be a symptom of gum disease, the researchers noted.

The results show the importance of good oral care during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the academy.

Gum disease can cause bleeding gums, bad breath and, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Up to half of American adults aged 30 and older suffer from some form of gum disease, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Previous research has linked gum disease to serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

More information

The National Institutes of Health in the United States explains how to prevent gum disease.

SOURCE: American Academy of Periodontology, press release, February 3, 2021

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