COVID-19 and Oral Health: An Emerging Connection

A recent study by McGill University reveals a growing connection between gum disease and complications from COVID-19.

With the advent of a novel virus comes many questions, postulates and hypotheses. Yet one piece of data is becoming increasingly more apparent—there exists a connection between oral health and the coronavirus.

 A recent study led by McGill University, published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, suggests that gum disease may be associated with higher risks of complications from COVID-19, including ICU admission and death. The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) couldn’t agree more.

 Dr. James G. Wilson, President of the AAP, states that systemic inflammation is not only linked with periodontal disease, but to several other respiratory diseases. “…Maintaining healthy teeth and gums in an effort to avoid developing or worsening periodontal disease is absolutely crucial in the midst of a global pandemic like COVID-19, which is also known to trigger an inflammatory response.”

 The statistics seem to bear it out. McGill researchers discovered that “COVID-19 patients with gum disease were 3.5 times more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit, 4.5 times more likely to need a ventilator, and 8.8 times more likely to die when compared to those without gum disease.” Adds Belinda Nicolau, contributing author and Full Professor in the Faculty of Dentistry at McGill University, “There is a very strong correlation between periodontitis and disease outcome.”

 The severity of periodontitis also appears to be a factor. “The risk of complications was found to be significantly higher among patients with moderate to severe periodontitis as opposed to COVID-19 patients with no or mild periodontitis,” says Richard H. Nagelberg, DDS and oral medicine member of the General Dentistry Advisory Board.

 Jeremy N. Krell, DMD, MBA and Managing Partner of Revere Partners, the first and only Venture Capital Fund in the oral healthcare space, says we can’t underestimate the importance of education. “It’s apparent that oral health plays a key role in mitigating disease. However, the general public is not well aware of this fact. It behooves the dental—and medical—industry to share this lifesaving information with patients on a broad scale, especially during the COVID-19 era.”  

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COVID-19 and Oral Health: An Emerging Connection

A recent study by McGill University reveals a growing connection between gum disease and complications from COVID-19.
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With the advent of a novel virus comes many questions, postulates and hypotheses. Yet one piece of data is becoming increasingly more apparent—there exists a connection between oral health and the coronavirus.

 A recent study led by McGill University, published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, suggests that gum disease may be associated with higher risks of complications from COVID-19, including ICU admission and death. The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) couldn’t agree more.

 Dr. James G. Wilson, President of the AAP, states that systemic inflammation is not only linked with periodontal disease, but to several other respiratory diseases. “…Maintaining healthy teeth and gums in an effort to avoid developing or worsening periodontal disease is absolutely crucial in the midst of a global pandemic like COVID-19, which is also known to trigger an inflammatory response.”

 The statistics seem to bear it out. McGill researchers discovered that “COVID-19 patients with gum disease were 3.5 times more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit, 4.5 times more likely to need a ventilator, and 8.8 times more likely to die when compared to those without gum disease.” Adds Belinda Nicolau, contributing author and Full Professor in the Faculty of Dentistry at McGill University, “There is a very strong correlation between periodontitis and disease outcome.”

 The severity of periodontitis also appears to be a factor. “The risk of complications was found to be significantly higher among patients with moderate to severe periodontitis as opposed to COVID-19 patients with no or mild periodontitis,” says Richard H. Nagelberg, DDS and oral medicine member of the General Dentistry Advisory Board.

 Jeremy N. Krell, DMD, MBA and Managing Partner of Revere Partners, the first and only Venture Capital Fund in the oral healthcare space, says we can’t underestimate the importance of education. “It’s apparent that oral health plays a key role in mitigating disease. However, the general public is not well aware of this fact. It behooves the dental—and medical—industry to share this lifesaving information with patients on a broad scale, especially during the COVID-19 era.”  

Leslie Fox
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