New Study investigates possible link between oral hygiene and the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infections

The British Dental Journal finds that poor oral hygiene may be connected to serious post COVID-19 complications due to high levels of harmful oral bacteria

After enjoying holiday celebrations, dentists have a special message for everyone: brush your teeth. Why is that so important this year? According to a new study published in the British Dental Journal, poor oral hygiene may be connected to serious COVID-19 complications due to high levels of harmful oral bacteria. The mouth is the gateway to the body, and the study suggests that good oral health practices could help reduce post COVID-19 complications, such as respiratory infections.

COVID-19 affects people in different ways, with patients exhibiting a range of symptoms and severity. So why do some people suffer more severely? It’s become clear that bacterial superinfections are common in patients suffering from a severe case of COVID-19. The British Dental Journal states, “More than 80% of COVID-19 patients in ICUs exhibited an exceptionally high bacterial load, with more than 50% of deaths exhibiting bacterial superinfections.”

While COVID-19 has a viral origin, it’s suspected that in severe cases, complications such as pneumonia and acute respiratory distress (ARDS) may be caused by bacterial superinfections.

And those bacteria may originate in the mouth.

According to the study, “We recommend that oral hygiene be maintained, if not improved, during a SARS-CoV-2 infection in order to reduce the bacterial load in the mouth and the potential risk of a bacterial superinfection.”

In addition to traditional oral care practices, such as flossing, brushing and using mouthwash, oral-care probiotics can also offer protection. This specialized type of probiotic is formulated to re-populate the oral cavity bacteria which crowds out harmful bacteria which can lead to cavities, gingivitis and periodontal disease. ProBiora Health the only oral-care probiotic designed specifically to help support gum and teeth health.

Dr. Eric Goulder, a cardiologist and founder of the Heart and Stroke Prevention Center in Central Ohio, believes that better heart health stems from improved oral-care health and has integrated a team of dentists and hygienists into his cardiology practice. His team regularly uses Probiora products to help keep patient’s oral health in check. “We think everyone should be extra careful during the pandemic, and oral-care probiotics are a great way to help keep the oral cavity in balance 24-7.”

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