Periodontitis and COVID-19

November 1, 2020
Avatar for Kelley MingusKelley Mingus


With the winter cold and flu season headed our way and the country still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are doing all they can to stay healthy. From extra handwashing to the use of sanitizers and face coverings, taking extra measures to stay safe during the pandemic can definitely slow the spread. But there are more steps you can take that you might not have realized: namely, caring for your oral health.

A recent study by the British Dental Journal is questioning whether COVID-19 could be worsened by oral bacteria found in patients with periodontal diseases. Researchers have already found that patients with pre-existing conditions are at a higher risk of more severe COVID-19 infections and even death. Conditions such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and heart disease. Periodontal disease is often found in patients with these conditions, too.

Researchers believe the inflammation of the gums caused by the presence of extra bacteria is to blame. Furthermore, bacteria can be aspirated into the lungs, making infections such as pneumonia more severe. Naturally, a condition like COVID-19 which affects the lungs could also be worsened.

So, what’s the solution to helping stay safe during the pandemic? Keeping up your oral hygiene may help. Brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing between the teeth where periodontal bacteria lurk, and visiting Dr. Mingus regularly for cleanings are all excellent ways to mitigate your risk of developing periodontal diseases.

If you already do have periodontal disease, getting this condition under control as cold and flu season approaches is also an excellent way to help you stay healthier than you might be if these conditions were left as is.

Remember, it’s still important to protect yourself from COVID-19 by following the CDC and local guidelines. That means wearing a mask in public, frequently washing your hands, and maintaining social distancing when possible. But caring for your oral health during the pandemic is especially important.

To learn more about how you can address your concerns about periodontal disease, please contact Dr. Mingus’ office to schedule a consultation.