At the beginning of the pandemic, we postponed everything from school and work to medical and dental care. For months, we quarantined to minimize our chance of exposure to COVID-19. Now that we know more about the virus, it’s easier to protect ourselves and others while returning to some normalcy. Read on to find out how poor oral hygiene puts you at a higher risk of COVID-19.
In fact, part of that return to normalcy should include routine dental check-ups, which can help our bodies with defense against the virus. Oral health care should be a public health priority as part of the effort to combat COVID-19.
The Link Between COVID-19 and Oral Health
Originally, the ADA suggested postponing routine and elective dental procedures, and only emergency dental treatment was available. Now, it is clear that oral health needs to be prioritized, including preventative care appointments.
Why should you see a dentist and get your teeth cleaned in the middle of a pandemic? There’s no denying the link between poor oral health and chronic illnesses. There’s a lot of data that suggests people with chronic health conditions are most at risk for developing severe complications related to COVID-19.
A review of individuals hospitalized due to the virus showed that many had diabetes and heart disease as underlying, chronic conditions. Both diabetes and heart disease are tied to poor oral health. Further, there are strong links between lack of access to regular dental care and these underlying conditions. Simply put, poor oral hygiene puts you at higher risk for COVID-19.
There’s No Better Time to Visit Your Dentist
It’s safe to visit your dentist. So far, no COVID-19 cases have been traced to dental appointments, and dental offices are taking extra precautions to keep you and their teams safe. Remember, good oral health is important to your overall well-being, and now is not the time to neglect your teeth.