Oral hygiene and severity of COVID-19 – the connection

British researchers have found a link between poor oral hygiene and severity of COVID-19 disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. The study from researchers Victoria Sampson, from the dental practice 38 Devonshire Street, London, Nawar Kamona from the Centre for Nutrition Education & Lifestyle Management (CNELM), London and Ariane Sampson from Orthodontics, Cambridge University Hhospital Trust, United Kingdom collaborated to find the connection between the severity of the infection and poor oral hygiene. Their study titled, “Could there be a link between oral hygiene and the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infections?” was published in the latest issue of the journal British Dental Journal.

The COVID-19 pandemic
Since December last year, there have been steadily increasing numbers of SARS-CoV-2 or novel coronavirus infection that causes COVID-19 diesase. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global emergency on the 30th of January 2020 and, on the 11th of March 2020, declared it a pandemic when this highly contagious virus infected populations across the world. As of today, globally, 10,434,385 people have been infected and there have been 509,779 deaths attributed to the virus around the world due to this infection.

What was this study about?
Researchers to date have identified several risk factors that are associated with severe COVID-19 course of disease and outcome. While many patients infected with the virus recover without complications, some may need hospitalization, oxygen supplementation, and even ventilation. Some of the risk factors associated with poor outcome of the disease include high blood pressure, diabetes obesity, and heart disease. The team of researchers explains that 52 percent of the deaths due to COVID-19 also occur in healthy individuals, and the cause behind this is unclear. They wrote that the main complications of COVID-19 include “blood clots, pneumonia, sepsis, septic shock, and ARDS (Acute respiratory distress syndrome).” These complications are seen mainly among those with comorbidities and bacterial overload, they wrote.