While having bad breath may make social distancing easier, it is also a symptom of gum disease, which can impact more than just your mouth.
While we have all played our part during this COVID-19 Pandemic, for dental professionals, that has meant keeping our patients out of pain and out of emergency rooms. However, after two months of the shutdown of routine dentistry, dental pain is not what scares dental professionals. What scares us are the oral diseases that have been silently progressing within our communities.
What are we concerned about?
We are concerned because we know that 85% of U.S. adults have some form of gum disease and over 50% have a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis.
Not only is gum disease the leading cause of tooth loss, it is also linked to several serious medical conditions including diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease. You may have heard that these are the three main comorbidities associated with an increased risk of complications from COVID-19. Because of these links, oral health is more important than ever.
In addition to the connection between gum disease and common comorbidities, gum disease can also worsen conditions such as COPD and may play a role in the contraction of pneumonia, bronchitis, and emphysema.
Improved oral hygiene and professional gum disease treatment have proven to reduce the risk of pneumonia in adults living in nursing homes and intensive care units, individuals admitted to a hospital, and those who have been intubated for mechanical ventilation. Emerging research from the current pandemic is showing bacterial co-infections are common in severe COVID-19 patients.
We’re moving forward and ready to see patients!
So while we have played our part as a community to stay at home and social distance to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, your dental team is now ready to welcome you back to the office so we can help you maintain your oral health through wellness examinations that include a gum disease screening. Our team here at the Pennsylvania Center for Periodontology is prepared to help you with any issues that may come up in regards to your gum health. Our office has implemented all necessary safety precautions and personal protective equipment to keep you safe as well as our staff safe. Continue to brush twice a day and floss daily in the mean time!