While focused on social distancing, not touching your face, wearing a mask, washing your hands, and disinfecting your surroundings, it’s easy to forget about your regular hygiene routines. Maintaining good oral hygiene, however, is more important than ever. Keeping your immune system strong in the midst of a global pandemic is essential to your wellbeing, and proper oral care habits will help support your immune health by preventing periodontal (gum) disease.

Why You Shouldn’t Forget about Oral Health During the COVID-19 Quarantine

While focused on social distancing, not touching your face, wearing a mask, washing your hands, and disinfecting your surroundings, it’s easy to forget about your regular hygiene routines. Maintaining good oral hygiene, however, is more important than ever. Keeping your immune system strong in the midst of a global pandemic is essential to your wellbeing, and proper oral care habits will help support your immune health by preventing periodontal (gum) disease.

Can Periodontal Disease Increase Risk of Severe COVID-19 Illness?

Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gum tissues that sometimes occurs as a result of neglecting oral hygiene. The CDC does not list periodontal disease as a risk factor or preexisting condition that contributes to severe cases of COVID-19. Gum disease, however, has been directly correlated to increased instances of systemic health disorders such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Both of these systemic illnesses put individuals at a much higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness.

Although periodontal disease has not been directly linked to severe cases of COVID-19, a gum infection has the ability to put you at risk of developing dangerous systemic health problems. In addition, this type of bacterial infection puts additional strain on a person’s immune system. As a result, individuals who contract SARS-CoV2 (the virus responsible for COVID-19 illness) while also fighting periodontal disease could have a more difficult time staving off the effects of the virus.

Signs You Could Have Periodontal Disease

Symptoms of developing or ongoing gum infection include:

  • Red, swollen, bleeding, painful, and/or receding gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Changes to bite
  • Sensitivity

Left unaddressed, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss, deterioration of the jawbone, and systemic infections that can cause organ damage.

What You Can Do to Protect Your Gum Health in Quarantine

In spite of having to follow numerous, additional health and safety precautions each day, it’s important to practice proper oral hygiene. Continue brushing and flossing, as always. Just be sure to wash your hands first and avoid sharing your toothbrush.

Coming Out of Quarantine to Address Your Oral Health

Brushing, flossing, and using mouth rinses at home will help keep your teeth and gums healthy, but it’s essential to continue professional dental care, too. We recommend scheduling your dental appointments for regular cleanings and for addressing intraoral infections as soon as you are able. Our office remains open and available to our patients for both emergencies and general appointments. We welcome you to contact our office with any questions you have regarding your dental care during the pandemic.