Why do we need to keep our teeth and gums in good shape? Good oral health reduces the chance of losing teeth and possibly the risk of fatal outcomes from COVID-19. It is now widely known that heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes, make it a high risk when infected by Covid-19.
According to a recent study led by a McGill University researcher, infected and inflamed gums may result in higher rates of complications and more fatal outcomes for individuals diagnosed with the SARS-COV-2 virus.
The research suggests high mortality rates among people who died from the coronavirus infection are higher in those with gum disease than those with healthy gum. People who died from the coronavirus infection have periodontal disease. Researchers found that people with poor oral hygiene or periodontal disease may risk becoming more complicated when infected.
Periodontal disease has long been known to increase the risk of influenza infection. The same might be valid for the new coronavirus infection. Gingivitis and Periodontitis are two main types of gum diseases. Gingivitis is gum disease that typically starts with plaque building up on teeth. The number one cause of gum disease is plaque.
A sticky film that constantly forms on teeth
Dental plaque is bacteria in the oral cavity that sticks to the surface of the teeth. It looks like a white-yellow sticky food residue. Still, it is a large number of bacteria, about 100 billion per gram. As the number of plaques increases and matures, the types and numbers of bacteria gradually change. The periodontal pathogens have toxins that adversely affect periodontal tissues.
Our biological defense system against pathogens quickly mobilizes various immune cells and eliminates these harmful bacteria. However, periodontal tissue becomes the battlefield between bacteria and immune cells.
This battle between the two is “inflammation.” And as a result of inflammation, the gums become swollen, red, and soft. So, gum inflammation is so-called Gingivitis.
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis, such as gum swelling and bleeding, damages the soft tissue and gum. The destruction spreads from the gum to the bone when this inflammation continues. When the infection goes past the gum and into the bone, we call it a periodontal disease. Generally, when people say “gum” disease, it means Gingivitis or periodontal disease. In summary, if the problem stays only in the gum, it is Gingivitis. When the issue goes into the bone, it is Periodontitis.