Healthy gums could just save your life

Research shows that bleeding gums when brushing your teeth can put you at serious risk of developing severe Covid-19 as well as other illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and dementia. Gum disease at its mildest form is called gingivitis and if not treated can lead to more serious gum infection called periodontitis. This can cause pain, bleeding and tooth loss as it destroys the bone that holds teeth in place.

Patients with gum disease are three times more likely to suffer from complications if they contract Covid-19. This is according to the new research published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.The study analysed more than 500 patients with the virus and discovered those with gum disease were nine times more likely to die in comparison to those with healthy gums.

Gum disease affects the supporting structures of the teeth such as the gum tissue and the bone surrounding the teeth. The bacteria causes inflammation which can exacerbate a chronic inflammatory response throughout the body in Covid-19 patients. Severe Covid-19 is associated with a hyperactive inflammatory immune system response that wreaks havoc on the lungs and other organs.

In an international survey in 2010, severe periodontitis was found to be the sixth most prevalent health condition in the world and the most common chronic inflammatory disease. If we ignore mild periodontitis we encourage the spread of inflammation and bacteria from the gums to other parts of the body. This also explains why gum disease has been linked to other chronic illnesses.

How to Protect your Oral Health

  1. Practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  2. Floss daily and use interdental brushes
  3. Eat a healthy diet and limit sugar and avoid snacking and grazing throughout the day
  4. Regular visits to the hygienist and dentist
  5. Avoid smoking
  6. Change your toothbrush every 3 months or sooner if the bristles are splayed
  7. If you notice gum inflammation, bleeding  or swelling contact your dentist

If you are concerned or worried about your gum health please feel free to contact the Mayhill on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk. Our periodontist Jim Dufty  and hygienists are on hand to help.

Healthy gums could just save your life

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