A new study has found that people with advanced gum disease are much more likely to suffer complications from coronavirus, including being more likely to require a ventilator and to die from the disease.
The research, which examined more than 500 patients, found that those with severe gum disease were up to nine times more likely to die from Covid-19. It also found that patients with the oral disease were nearly five times more likely to need assisted ventilation.
Coronavirus has now infected 115 million people worldwide. According to the Oral Health Foundation, gum disease can be easily prevented, or managed in its early stages.
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the charity believes keeping on top of your oral health could play a key role in battling the virus: “This is the latest of many studies that form a connection between the mouth and other health conditions. The evidence here seems overwhelming – by maintaining good oral health, specifically healthy gums – you are able to limit your chances of developing the most serious complications of coronavirus. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to abscesses, and over several years, the bone supporting the teeth can be lost. When gum disease becomes advanced, treatment becomes more difficult. Given the new link with coronavirus complications, the need for early intervention becomes even greater”.
The first sign of gum disease is blood on your toothbrush or in the toothpaste you spit out. Your gums may also bleed when you are eating.