APR 22, 2021 7:30 AM PDT

Gum Disease Makes COVID Patients More Likely to Die

WRITTEN BY: Tara Fernandes

Gum disease is associated with an increased risk of COVID-related ICU admission and death, says a study by McGill University researchers.

Patients with infected or inflamed gums were 3.5 times more likely to experience COVID symptoms requiring critical care, 4.5 times more likely to be ventilated, and 8.8 times more likely to die than those with healthy gums. This is the first study of its kind to explore the relationship between gum disease and COVID outcomes.

Belinda Nicolau, one of the study’s authors, said there is a very strong correlation between periodontitis (gum disease) and COVID outcomes. “Looking at the conclusions of our study, we can highlight the importance of good oral health in the prevention and management of COVID-19 complications,” explained Nicolau.

Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease that compromises the soft and hard structures that support teeth, representing the leading cause of tooth loss. Poor oral hygiene, diabetes, smoking, and a weakened immune system can contribute to the disease. Gum disease is incredibly prevalent, with nearly half of all adults aged 30 years or older showing symptoms of the condition.

According to the researchers, the inflammation triggered by gum disease can spread throughout the body. In patients with severe COVID-19, this can exacerbate the inflammatory response caused by infection by the coronavirus. The team found that circulating inflammatory biomarkers were significantly higher in the blood of COVID-19 patients with gum disease, which could explain the increased likelihood of complications.

Over 560 patients were included in this study, taking into account demographic, medical, and behavioral factors to avoid biases. As a follow-up, the team plans to expand the study by collecting data from larger patient cohorts.

 

 

Sources: Clinical Periodontology, McGill University


 

About the Author
PhD
Interested in health technology and innovation.
You May Also Like
SEP 28, 2022
Health & Medicine
Drinking Tea Shown to Reduce Diabetes
SEP 28, 2022
Drinking Tea Shown to Reduce Diabetes
Researchers have discovered that drinking at least four cups of tea per day is associated with a 17% lower risk of type ...
OCT 10, 2022
Neuroscience
Botox Can Relieve Depression & Anxiety, Now Researchers Know How
OCT 10, 2022
Botox Can Relieve Depression & Anxiety, Now Researchers Know How
Botox, or botulinum toxin, might be most popularly known as a treatment for wrinkles; it's a neurotoxic agent produced b ...
OCT 14, 2022
Neuroscience
Being Prescribed Multiple Medications Linked to Dementia
OCT 14, 2022
Being Prescribed Multiple Medications Linked to Dementia
Within five years of being diagnosed with dementia, people are commonly prescribed three drugs or more to treat multiple ...
NOV 11, 2022
Immunology
Regenerating the Immune System to Halt Multiple Sclerosis
NOV 11, 2022
Regenerating the Immune System to Halt Multiple Sclerosis
A bone marrow or blood stem cell transplant has been an effective but risky way to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), and no ...
NOV 14, 2022
Neuroscience
How COVID-19 Can Disrupt the Brain
NOV 14, 2022
How COVID-19 Can Disrupt the Brain
The virus that causes COVID-19 does not infect neurons, or if it does, that only happens in rare cases. But COVID-19 can ...
NOV 19, 2022
Clinical & Molecular DX
New Research Shows How Bacteria Could Help Tumors Progress and Resist Treatment
NOV 19, 2022
New Research Shows How Bacteria Could Help Tumors Progress and Resist Treatment
New research from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle postulates that certain bacteria significantly impact the ...
Loading Comments...