Poor oral health may impact COVID-19 severity, especially for cardiac patients

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The correlation between poor oral health and COVID-19 severity, as well as the correlation between oral health and delayed recovery, demonstrates a potential need to consider oral health an additional risk factor for cardiac patients who may contract COVID-19, new research out of Egypt has found. 

The new sub-study, examining Egyptian cardiac patients, will be presented at ACC Middle East 2021, a hybrid meeting held in partnership by the American College of Cardiology, Egyptian Society of Cardiology and the ACC Egypt Chapter on 14–15 October, 2021.

The oral cavity is a potential reservoir for respiratory pathogens. Previous trials have linked poor oral hygiene with increased inflammation and cardiovascular disease. 

According to a team from Cairo University, COVID-19 severity has also been linked to an inflammatory response.

The researchers hypothesised that increased COVID-19 severity may be linked to poor oral health status, especially in patients with cardiovascular diseases. Their study assessed oral health status, severity of COVID-19 symptoms, C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and duration of recovery.

“Oral tissues could act as a reservoir for SARS-CoV-2, developing a high viral load in the oral cavity,” lead author Dr Ahmed Mustafa Basuoni said.

“Therefore, we recommended maintenance of oral health and improving oral hygiene measures, especially during COVID-19 infection.” 

The study included 86 Egyptian heart disease patients with a confirmed COVID-19 PCR test. Using a questionnaire, researchers assessed oral health and COVID-19 severity. An oral health score was used to determine the effect of oral health on COVID-19. Data on CRP levels and COVID-19 PCR tests were collected via the questionnaire and confirmed via medical records. CRP levels are used to determine when there is inflammation in the body.

The team found the correlation between oral health and COVID-19 severity showed a significant inverse relationship, as did the correlation between oral health with recovery period and CRP values. Poor oral health was correlated to increased values of CRP and delayed recovery, especially in patients with cardiac diseases.

“Oral health should be a part of routine history taking and examination in cardiac patients,” Dr Basuoni said.

“Lifestyle measures should be instructed to all cardiac patients regarding good oral hygiene with regular dental visits. We need to give more space in research for these risk factors which can be easily modified.”

1 COMMENT

  1. Tooth decay is not a disease – I call it a Behavioural Condition – bacteria are involve but they are probiotic, they are there all the time, you do not catch them as in a disease – they do not want sucrose but if you feed it to them they produce acid with in a minute that demineralises the enamel – google the Stephan Curve.
    It only lasts for 20 minutes and take 6 hours to remineralise. So it is behavioural. People with tooth decay don’t wait the six hours. You are right the quantity is not important but the frequency is.
    You cannot prevent tooth decay by brushing – you inform the pt to change their behaviour.
    Brushing and flossing/piksters is very important at preventing gingivitis and gum disease but will not prevent tooth decay. Fourie in the toothpaste may reduce tooth decay by approx 50% but will not prevent it. Reducing the frequency of sucrose will prevent tooth decay by 100%.
    Children up to 10-12 years rarely if ever get gum disease so the only real reason to teach them is to create the habit.
    So 95% os the basis of this article is false. It is funded by Colgate so the result is predetirmed – I feel sorry for the academic dentists that accept Colgate’s money to produce false results.
    If I teach 10 pt’s to floss after 12 months 1 or 2 may still be flossing.
    If I teach 10 pt’s how to Pikster after 12 months 8-9 are still pikstering.
    I feel embarrassed for Colgate that they have been producing toothbrushes for decades but their research dept could not design a pikster.
    It was left to a single dentist in USA with a greater Vision than Colgate.
    Colgate please stop producing these false articles.
    If someone out there can show me an article published in a respected refereed journal that ‘proves’ brushing reduces tooth decay I would happily donate $1000 to there favourite charity.
    No such article exists

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