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Paper Explores Connection Between Oral Hygiene and Severity of COVID-19

Researchers in the United Kingdom suggest there may be a connection between SARS-CoV-2 infections and the microbial load in the oral cavity.

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Researchers in the United Kingdom suggest there may be a connection between SARS-CoV-2 infections and the microbial load in the oral cavity. Investigating the possible link between oral health and COVID-19 disease, the team investigated whether comorbidities and fatalities from COVID-19 are associated with altered biofilm and periodontal disease.

Reporting in the paper, “Could There Be a Link Between Oral Hygiene and the Severity of SARS-Cov-2 Infections?,” published in the British Dental Journal, the authors note, “Bacteria present in patients with severe COVID-19 are associated with the oral cavity, and improved oral hygiene may play a part in reducing the risk of complications.” According to the team, there is also a risk of aspirating oral secretions into the lungs in patients with lung infections. Oral bacteria that could cause infections include Porphyromonas gingivalis, Fusobacterium nucleatum and Prevotella intermedia, which contribute to the formation of cytokines that can lead to lung infections.

The authors recommend oral hygiene be maintained, or improved, in patients diagnosed with COVID-19, and that clinicians consider compromised oral hygiene as a risk for post-viral complications in patients predisposed to altered biofilms due to diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular disease.

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