Importance of Oral Health during COVID-19 Pandemic
The covid-19 pandemic has been a cause of immense stress and anxiety worldwide. We have been worried about our health, tensed about navigating our work, and anxious due to the inability to meet our friends and family because of the worldwide lockdown. It feels like we have been trapped and all of us every single day hope to get back to the life before this pandemic. Times are tough, to say the least, but together with caution, we will emerge victoriously.
In previous articles Dr. Sanz, a periodontist at Southern Delaware Dental Specialists have stressed on the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene. Proper brushing combined with flossing helps preserve the sanctity of our mouth and keeps us healthy. However, did you know that having good oral hygiene is now even more important?
Our mouth acts as a host to millions of bacteria. Some of these are harmless, while others are disease-causing in a suitable condition. Faulty oral hygiene procedures allow the build of plaque, which is a combination of these bacteria, food debris, and certain salivary constituents. This plaque adheres to our teeth, near the gum line and the tongue. Our daily toothbrushing and flossing aim to remove this layer of disease-causing plaque. However, faulty oral hygiene habits do not remove this bacterial-laden plaque entirely. Soon, the bacteria flourish and release toxic acidic by-products, which are responsible for dental decay and various gum diseases.
SO, WHAT THE CONNECTION BETWEEN COVID AND ORAL HYGIENE?
Well, recently, studies were conducted pertaining to this very same question. In that study, the researchers found a conclusive relationship between the covid and oral health. The key entry points of the coronavirus are the nose and the mouth. When this virus enters the mouth, it goes and makes this accumulated plaque it’s home. The plaque acts as a reservoir to the coronavirus. From here, the virus infects the gum and travels below, where it finds a way to enter the bloodstream. It then reaches the major blood vessels from where it reaches and infects our organs. Another way coronavirus travels is through our mouth; it goes down to infect the lungs.
Now that we know how the virus behaves inside the mouth, we can stop its spread to the internal organs.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Well, Dr. Sanz at Southern Delaware explains that the key is to maintain good oral hygiene. Use a good quality toothbrush and toothpaste. Make sure you are changing your toothbrush every three months or before if the bristles become frayed. Ensure that you are brushing twice a day and covering each tooth and all its surfaces. Ideally, your brushing time should be three minutes. Once you have brushed, use a piece of floss to clean the tiny gaps between your teeth, which are not accessible by a toothbrush. This will help you get rid of the infected plaque and also prevent the infection from progressing.
Dr. Sanz, a board certified periodontist at Southern Delaware Dental Specialist further adds that if you have recently tested positive for the coronavirus, use chlorhexidine mouthwash every 2-3 hours. It will help contain the spread of the virus and prevent it from going further and infecting your lungs.
Following simple yet effective oral health care can help prevent undue complications of covid-19. Stay cautious and safe. If you have any gum related problems, do not ignore it as it can become fatal. Consult a periodontist near you in Southern Delaware now. You can schedule an appointment with us at Southern Delaware Dental Specialist to get started on your journey to a better health.