Is there a link between a person’s susceptibility to the COVID-19 coronavirus, and their oral health? Turns out, there may be! If you have existing dental issues, you should be working with your dentist to fix the problem, otherwise you could be leaving yourself vulnerable.
The Link Between Oral Health And Body Health
In general, your mouth is one of your first lines of defense against any diseases trying to enter your body – including COVID-19. Because so much air, food, and liquid enters your body through your mouth, your body has robust defenses in place to help prevent disease transmission. In a healthy person, their mouth acts as a barrier to infection.
However, for someone suffering from dental disease, it’s another issue. There are two major factors at work.
First, if someone already has an infection in their mouth, that means their body’s immune system will be focused on fighting off that illness. If another disease moves into the body, there will be far fewer resources available to attack the new invader. Like fighting a war on two fronts, the body probably won’t be able to stop multiple diseases from attacking at once.
Also, many forms of oral disease create cuts, sores, or other holes in the skin within the mouth. This creates an open door for diseases like COVID-19 to enter the body.
Of course, this is all true for literally any illness. If you have a healthy mouth, you’re more likely to have a healthy body too.
A Direct Link Between Oral Health And COVID-19?
Research is ongoing, but it seems there may also be a much more direct link between the coronavirus, and a patient’s health. A new study was recently published in the British Dental Journal, based on patient outcomes among dentists in England.
They found that patients with COVID-19 and oral disease had a much higher chance of passing viruses between the mouth and the lungs. Disease in the mouth tends to migrate to the lungs, and vice-versa. This, the researchers believe, is one of the key factors in creating complications in COVID-19 cases. Patients, their bodies already stressed by the coronavirus, become far more susceptible to other viral or bacterial infections as well.
In short, it’s more important than ever to protect your oral health! Dental clinics around the country are now reopening, so if you’re late for your annual checkup, contact Princeton Center for Dental Aesthetics & Implants at 609-924-1414