How Does COVID Affect Your Dental Health?

Restorative Dentistry vs. Cosmetic Dentistry

There has been a lot of recent awareness about how periodontal bacteria can impact anyone’s immune system, as the body focuses on fighting that infection, which makes it potentially more vulnerable to other threats. We know that periodontitis also puts one at a significantly higher risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, among others.

It has been understood from the start that because COVID-19 is fundamentally a respiratory illness it can damage the lungs, making it difficult to breathe, which is a factor in why so many feel extremely fatigued long after they leave the sick bed. More post-recovery complications have ranged from hair loss and depression to strokes and memory loss, according to the Mayo Clinic.

What has been recently noticed, however, is that COVID can affect one’s long-term oral health. How could that be? Many experts now believe that it attacks the blood vessels, disrupting blow flow to the gums, tongue, and teeth (whose core pulp consists of blood vessels and nerves). This can result in decay and pain, with other dental flare-ups long after apparent recovery from the coronavirus.

That makes it imperative for both those who have not (yet) been infected by COVID and those who have suffered from the disease to put extra attention on their oral health. Thoroughly brushing for two minutes after breakfast and after dinner, then flossing before you go to sleep, is the best way to prevent periodontal disease from getting a hold. This will allow the body to keep its limited supply of white blood cells ready for a more serious assault from the virus, rather than having to deal with an oral inflammation.

Of course, at least twice a year (more if you have an ongoing oral health crisis) you need to have our dentist and dental hygienist provide a professional cleaning, using the tools and techniques only she has to reach the areas that are hardest to clean. If your situation needs more help than normal, she can do hand-scaling of the teeth where hardened tartar has built up or inject an antibacterial solution into the gums to keep a periodontal infection from getting worse. 

If Dr. Gutierrez suspects the infection may have entered the jawbone, he will have a full-set of digital x-rays taken (which involve minimal radiation). Keeping your mouth in great health is a major way to prevent illness in general, as well as to help your recovery. You can schedule an appointment with Manhattan Dental Care Studio today, we serve the areas of Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance, greater South Bay region, Marina Del Rey, and Los Angeles.

Dr. Erick Gutierrez

Author Dr. Erick Gutierrez

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