Dr Bicuspid (2/5, Busch) reports a new study that indicates that “periodontitis may be a risk factor for COVID-19. And it may make patients vulnerable to severe complications, including death.” The researchers found that “people who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and also had periodontitis were more than nine times as likely to die than those who didn’t have severe gum disease.” In addition, “these patients were also about four times more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and approximately five times more likely to need assisted ventilation than those who didn’t have gum disease, according to the authors.” The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.
Dentistry Today (2/3) reported that Nicola West, secretary-general of the European Federation of Periodontology, said, “This study highlights another association between gum disease and our systemic health and reiterates the need for ongoing, lifelong dental care for people susceptible to gum disease and a strong preventive approach to periodontitis for populations as a whole.”
So there are other identified risk factors but this is one that I was unaware of. When a new patient comes into the office we check for gum disease and treat that prior to any non-emergency issues. Hopefully none of my patients will get Covid-19. But if they do, they will not suffer the severe side effects that are associated with periodontal disease. This is a great reason to continue conscientious home care!