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Dental diseases complicating Covid-19: Scientific Study

Last Updated on June 6, 2021 at 4:34 pm

Dr Gautam Sharma, former president of Indian Dental Association (IDA), Jammu, told that the research throughout the world on corona virus has indicated that the dental diseases may complicate Covid-19.

Periodontitis which is a disease of supporting tissues of teeth may be implicated as a risk factor in complicating Covid-19 in scientific studies. If a patient is suffering from periodontitis then symptoms like bleeding gums, recession of gums, bad breath, mobility of teeth may be present.

A study by Dr. Marouf and co-associates published in 2021 conducted on 568 patients using the national electronic health records of the State of Qatar between February and July 2020, has clearly indicated that periodontitis was associated with higher risk of ICU admission, need for assisted ventilation and death of COVID-19 patients, and with increased blood levels of biomarkers linked to worse disease outcomes.

Scientific rationale for Dr. Marouf’s study was to find whether COVID-19 complications are caused by a severe inflammatory reaction that shares some common signals with periodontitis. Thus, this study was designed to investigate a possible association between COVID-19 complications and the presence of periodontitis. Principle findings of this study revealed that periodontitis could be a risk factor for COVID-19 complications.

This study identified that the risk of COVID-19 complications was significantly higher among patients with moderate-to-severe periodontitis compared to those with milder or no periodontitis. Periodontitis shares common risk factors with most chronic inflammatory diseases known to influence COVID-19 severity.

This study found that the fatal COVID-19 outcomes were significantly associated with higher blood concentrations of D-dimer, WBC and CRP, and lower concentrations of lymphocytes. Also, patients admitted to the ICU as well as those requiring assisted ventilation presented high blood levels of CRP and D-dimer.

Interestingly, COVID-19 cases with periodontitis also had significantly higher WBC and CRP serum levels than those without periodontitis, which may indicate a possible link of this association through systemic inflammation. Successful treatment of periodontitis has been shown to improve serum markers of systemic inflammation (CRP, IL-6) as well as systemic metabolic control.

Dr.Gautam Sharma stressed that maintenance of good oral hygiene is of utmost important not only during Covid-19 pandemic but at all times. Consultation with a dentist is must every 6 months and if you see symptoms like bleeding gums, bad breath or you feel mobility in teeth, then immediately consult a Periodontist. A periodontist is a dental specialist who treats diseases of the supporting tissues of teeth. He may also do scaling to remove bacterial deposits present on the teeth surface which over a period of time causes damage to dental health.