We are in a pandemic… why do I need to be brushing and flossing regularly? And do I really need to go to the dentist right now?
COVID changed many things for many of us. We’ve had times where we weren’t working, times where our children were not in school, and times where it seemed that our best friend was the person helping us at the grocery store. As a dentist, I have seen more patients coming through at these times with broken teeth caused by stress, and increased amounts of plaque resulting from a healthy dose of self-neglect that was created by a change of routine.
While the need to brush and floss has not changed, the need to see your dentist has become even more important. The dental profession has long encouraged patients to brush well and frequently, and include a healthy flossing habit in their routine. Our goal has been to help you reduce the development and accumulation of plaque on your teeth because of its impact on your gums. The bacteria in plaque promote inflammation in your gums that opens the doors to disease in your body. When your gums are not healthy they cannot stop bacteria from entering your body through your mouth. This has long been recognized in dentistry, and its consequences are more severe if you suffer from chronic health issues.
This brings us to the impact of inflammation in the mouth and SARS Cov-2. A recent study from the UK has been able to shed some light on how COVID-19 may develop. Medical imaging has confirmed that not all infections are developing through respiratory infections created through the airway. We have already recognized that the virus is abundant in human saliva. It appears that virus may actually be passing from your saliva into the body through openings in your gums. These openings are present when the gums are neglected or otherwise unhealthy. By allowing the virus to travel into blood vessels to the heart, it can then be moved into the lungs and establish an infection.
This is the reason why it is so important to maintain your oral hygiene. Maintaining good oral hygiene ensures you are doing your best to keep your body healthy. Keeping your regular visits to your dentist and dental hygienist help to ensure that you keep your mouth the healthiest. If you have not been in touch with your dental clinic to book your dental hygiene visit, there is no better time than now.
Dr. Pushpinder K. Bains