The surprising link between oral health and COVID-19
The surprising link between oral health and COVID-19

The surprising link between oral health and COVID-19

dental

Health care

While many people are probably aware of the most common risk factors associated with COVID-19 complications, including diabetes or high blood pressurerelating to, a surprising connection with dental health has emerged. ONE recent study found that people with gum disease who become infected with COVID-19, has an increased risk of poor outcomes, including a greater chance of admission to the intensive care unit.

Gum disease – also known as periodontitis – can generally be prevented through proper brushing, flossing and routine tooth cleaning.nings. Unfortunately almost 50% of Americans 30 years or older have some form of gum disease. More generally, good oral health is a first line of defense to help the body protectt from infections, systemic inflammation and different types of diseases.

While almost everyone knows to brush during tmorning and evening, and flossing daily, there are several other ways to help maintain or improve your oral health in the middle of COVID-19 and for years to come. By considering these tips you can help maintain or improve your oral health as well as contribute also for your general well-being. Here are some strategies to consider:

Upgrade your toothbrush and technique. If you are still using a manual toothbrush, now is the time to think about an upgrade. Electric toother brushes offers several benefits over manual brushing, with some synchronization to an app to help people develop better oral health habits by providing personalized feedback, such as brushing time, intensity and tooth / rubber cover. Most importantly, people ought to brush for a full two minutes, use short, gentle strokes, and keep your head at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Once the bristles start to fray, it’s time for a new one. To help make electric toothbrushes more affordable, some dental plans are starting to offer discounts on certain smart brushes and enables members to earn incentives to use them.

Focus on gum health. MustAchieving or improving gum health is just as important. This is because healthy gums can prevent gingivitis and eventually periodontitis, which can cause tooth loss and contribute to a number of other health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and dementia. In addition to daily flossing, people can also use a water floss which shoots a stream of water between the teeth and can help reduce bacteria below the gum line. Another practice that can support gum health as a supplement to – but not a substitute for – brushing and flossing is oil pulling, which involves whizzing around sunflower, sesame or coconut oil in the mouth for 20 minutes.

Access Virtual Dental Care. Virtual care has become an important opportunity to access healthcare in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some dentists and cavenumber plans make telephone and video consultations available, which provide people with a starting point for advice and guidance to help choose (if necessary) an appropriate framework for personal care.

About the author: Dr. Leonard Weiss is senior dentistr at UnitedHealthcare.

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