Routine dental care may prevent severe COVID-19 complications, study finds

Successful control of periodontal inflammation can be beneficial to the lungs and potentially decrease severity and risk of COVID-19 respiratory problems, according to a study published by the Journal of the California Dental Association.

"The Mouth-COVID Connection: IL-6 Levels in Periodontal Disease ― Potential Role in COVID-19-Related Respiratory Complications" by Shervin Molayem, DDS, and Carla Cruvinel Pontes, DDS, PhD, examined the link between periodontal disease and COVID-19-related respiratory complications. Their findings suggest that dental professionals may need to focus on preventing underlying conditions, such as periodontitis, that promote systemic inflammation.

Oral bacteria can affect lung function, thereby increasing the risk of pneumonia and potentially COVID-19-related pulmonary complications.

Focusing on prevention would not only improve patients’ overall health but could decrease the need for intensive care and mechanical ventilation of COVID-19 patients, the study authors write.

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