Gum Disease Raises Coronavirus Death Risk by Nearly Nine Times

NEW COVID FINDINGS 

A recent scientific research study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology carried out after analysing over 550 COVID-infected patients indicates that those patients who suffer from gum disease are at a far greater risk of death from COVID-infection than patients with healthy mouths.  

WHAT IS GUM DISEASE

Gum disease is an inflammatory condition resulting from inadequate oral hygiene but can be treated effectively and eliminated by professional treatment by dental hygienists and dentists.  It is a condition nobody has to suffer from and yet it is one of the most common diseases globally and is extremely common throughout the Australian population.  It is commonly manifest by bleeding gums when brushing or flossing.  Often it is only discovered if you have X-rays taken by your dentist.

The prevalence of this problem known as “periodontitis“ is surprisingly high.  Moderate to severe gum disease affects around 30% of the entire population and up to 60% of older patients.  

KNOWN RISK FACTORS

Patients with diabetes are particularly affected and those with a know family history of premature tooth loss.  However many of these patients remain unaware of their condition that continues to destroy bone around the teeth leading to tooth loss.

RELEVANCE TO COVID

Those patients who are infected with COVID and who suffer from gum disease (periodontitis) were found to be 3.5 times as likely to need to be admitted to intensive care.

These patients were 4.5 times more likely to need to be supported with a ventilator to keep them alive.

Of even greater concern, people with severe gum disease were found to be over 9 times more likely to die from COVID infection.

These facts are further evidence of the close link between gum disease and several medical conditions that include coronary artery disease, asthma, premature birth and low birth weight babies to name only a few.

Gum disease is preventable and if diagnosed, it is treatable.  The benefit of good oral health spills over to reduce your risk of several other medical issues so a dental check is a great way to ensure you stay healthy.

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