Poor oral hygiene could favor Covid in a more serious form, especially in patients with heart disease.
This is what emerges from a work by Ahmed Mustafa Basuoni, of the University of Cairo, which will be presented at the ACC Middle East 2021 hybrid meeting, in partnership with the American College of Cardiology, Egyptian Society of Cardiology and the ACC Egypt Chapter.
The oral cavity is an important reserve of respiratory pathogens. Previous clinical trials have linked poor oral hygiene with increased inflammation and cardiovascular problems. According to the researchers, the severity of COVID-19 is in turn linked to the body’s inflammatory response.
The study included 86 Covid patients with prior cardiovascular disease. The experts measured the oral hygiene of each one with an ad hoc index and also the levels of inflammation with a blood sample. A correlation has emerged between poor oral hygiene, inflammation and severe Covid.
«The tissues of the oral cavity could act as a reserve of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, developing a high viral load in the mouth – explains Basuoni. Therefore we recommend the maintenance of oral health and the improvement of oral hygiene measures during the infection ».
“Simple measures – such as practicing mouth hygiene, undergoing regular dental visits, especially for patients with cardiovascular problems, using mouthwashes – could help prevent or reduce the severity of COVID-19.”
«The results of this clinical study are in line with those of two other studies already published this year regarding the correlations between covid, oral and systemic health – commented Nicola Marco Sforza, President-elect of SIdP (Italian Society of Periodontology and Implantology). The pathogenetic mechanism can be explained by the high levels of inflammation induced by poor oral hygiene, the cause of gum disease. This inflammation – he adds – would result in a greater risk of serious pulmonary complications for the patient suffering from covid, making him more susceptible to the inflammatory “storm” triggered by Sars-Cov-2. The results of this study – concludes Sforza – confirm the importance of oral health and the need for correct oral hygiene at home by the patient, as well as for proper prevention and possible treatment of gum diseases, especially in patients with cardiovascular problems “.
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