Covid-19 and Severe Gum Disease

It’s been two years since the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the COVID (Coronavirus SARS-COV-2) outbreak a global pandemic. Two years after lockdown we’re happy to be seeing patients on a normal schedule while we continue to, nonetheless, do our best to minimize any airborne pathogens.

woman posing in plaid coatSince the pandemic began, international researchers have been studying the relationship between the severity of COVID and oral health. Many studies have been conducted to see how aspects of our lifestyles may affect COVID complications. In the midst of the mayhem, the American Academy of Periodontology (this country’s leading organization of periodontists for which we are proud members), reported on a study that links severe gum disease (periodontitis) with COVID complications.

The study was based on 568 national electronic health records from the State of Qatar in the Middle East. Analyzing patients with severe COVID complications (which included ICU admission, assisted ventilation and death), patients with periodontitis were reported to have been more than 3x more likely to experience COVID complications.

Similarly, in the peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Periodontology, periodontitis (which they defined as bone loss detected at two or more non-adjacent teeth) was similarly associated with a higher risk of hospital ICU admissions, the need for ventilation and even death.

Gum Disease Can Be Treated

We remind you that gum disease, in its earliest form (gingivitis) is normally reversible. We can also treat more severe gum disease to halt its damaging progression. Periodontitis has also been linked to many NCDs (noncommunicable diseases) that include diabetes, dementia, stroke, heart disease, respiratory disease, pre-term births, and more.

Signs to watch out for can include:

  • Chronic bad breath
  • Teeth that feel loose
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Difficulty chewing

It may already be the month of March, but it’s NOT too late to RESOLVE to improve your oral health and smile appearance in 2023. Address potential gum disease today by scheduling a consultation at either our Philadelphia or Ambler location. You (and your body) won’t regret it!