It may come as a surprise to find out that there is a direct link between your oral and overall health. Gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and more. During the pandemic, our team at Agape Dental Clinic has noticed more and more patients putting their bi-annual dental cleanings and exams on hold. While this may seem like the safer option, it is important to understand the link between oral and overall health. Excellent oral hygiene boosts your immune system, and recent studies have even suggested that it can reduce your risk of serious complications from COVID-19. Read on to learn about the link between oral health and COVID-19 outcomes.

Maintain Excellent Oral Health and Stave Off Complications of COVID-19

According to a new international study put forward by McGill researchers, inflamed and infected gums may be linked to a higher risk of complications and fatalities for those diagnosed with COVID-19. Research has indicated that COVID-19 patients with existing gum disease are 3.5 times more likely to need admission to the intensive care unit and almost five times more likely to need the assistance of a ventilator.

Additionally, British researchers have recently also discovered a link between severe COVID-19 disease and oral health. This study was published in the British Dental Journal and identified various risk factors associated with COVID-19 having severe outcomes. In this study, the researchers explored the idea that there could be a connection between COVID-19 and “bacterial load.” They attempted to find out if high levels of bacteria could be associated with poor COVID-19 outcomes. In this exploration, the team looked into the link between those with poor oral health and complications associated with COVID-19.

Dental professionals already know that gum disease can lead to an increased risk of airway infections, heart disease, and lung infections. The findings of this study lined up with this knowledge. Researchers found that inadequate oral hygiene increases the risk of inter-bacterial exchanges between the mouth and lungs, increasing the risk of respiratory infections and complications. The study concluded that good oral hygiene is an effective way to prevent airway infections in individuals, especially in those who are older than the age of 70, and recommends that oral hygiene be maintained during a COVID-19 infection to reduce the risk of bacterial superinfection and related complications.

the connection between oral health and covid-19

How Regular Dental Cleanings Help Maintain Oral Health

The key to maintaining excellent oral and overall health throughout your life is to actively engage in preventive dentistry practices. Professional dental cleanings and checkups allow our dentists to take a proactive approach to your oral health. When you eat and drink, bacteria, plaque, and tartar coat your gum line and teeth and cannot be completely removed without the help of a dental professional. These substances can lead to serious oral health problems, including periodontal disease, which has been linked to an increased risk of COVID-19 complications.

When you visit Agape Dental regularly for dental cleanings and exams, our dental hygienist can expertly remove these substances and prevent oral and overall health complications. Additionally, our dentist can examine your mouth to identify potential issues early on and provide personalized treatment options to promote your health.

Staying Safe During Your Dental Visits

Our team at Agape Dental Clinic understands the hesitancy that some individuals feel about visiting a dental office during the pandemic. However, it is vital to remember that dental cleanings are necessary for maintaining good health, and dental clinics do everything they can to provide a safe environment for all patients. At Agape Dental, we carefully follow the Alberta Dental Association protocols for safety to ensure all our patients feel safe and comfortable coming to our clinic.

Maintaining Oral Health at Home

In addition to visiting your dentist for regular dental cleanings and checkups, you can implement some simple habits into your daily routine to reduce your risk of gum disease and other oral and overall health problems:

  • Brush your teeth each morning and night for two minutes
  • Floss each evening
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks
  • Rinse your mouth after meals

If you want more information about caring for your oral and overall health, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team at Agape Dental Clinic. We are happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have to help you maintain excellent health for years to come.