COVID-19 patients with gum disease more likely to have severe complications, study says

COVID-19 coronavirus hospital nurse
Posted at 2:41 PM, Feb 09, 2021

Here’s another reason to keep up the brushing and flossing during the pandemic, researchers found those with gum disease who contracted COVID-19 were at least three times more likely to have severe complications from the virus.

A team of international researchers published their findings in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology this month.

The study looked at more than 500 people who tested positive for COVID-19 in Qatar between February and July last year. Of those, about 45% had gum disease.

They found those who had gum disease were 3.5 times more likely to be admitted to the ICU, 4.5 times more likely to need a ventilator, and almost 9 times more likely to die from the virus, when compared to those COVID-19 patients who didn’t have gum disease.

Researchers point out that COVID-19 is associated with “exacerbated inflammatory response” in the body, and that systemic inflammation is also a characteristic of periodontitis, also known as gum disease.

Periodontitis is a gum infection that damages the soft tissue, it can lead to the teeth loosening or falling out.