Scientists Say Brushing Your Teeth Could Lower The Risk Of Severe Covid.
Scientists say the virus can spread into the bloodstream through infected gums or cavities and regular brushing could lower your risk of getting severe covid.
An international team of experts have speculated that the virus may spread into the bloodstream after infecting the gums. The hypothesis, backed by NHS experts, was published in the Journal of Oral Medicine and Dental Research. The team came up with the theory after it was noted that a number of patients had no inflammation in their airways and yet had severe infections in their lungs.
The researchers propose that dental plaque accumulation and periodontal inflammation further intensify the likelihood of the SARS-CoV-2 virus reaching the lungs and causing more severe cases of infection.
Experts say this discovery could make effective oral healthcare a potentially lifesaving action – recommending that the public take simple but effective, daily steps to maintain oral hygiene and reduce factors contributing to gum disease, such as the build-up of plaque.
Normally Covid enters through the throat or nose and makes its way through the respiratory system to the lungs- hence the swab test to detect the virus. However, scientists say it is possible that the infection could bypass the airways and go directly to the lungs after gaining entry through the gums.
If the theory is proved correct then it would explain why a number of studies have found people with gum disease and poor dental hygiene have been shown to be more at risk of severe disease.
They said ‘simple oral hygiene’ such as brushing teeth twice a day for at least two minutes and using mouthwash after meals could cut the risk of severe Covid. University of Birmingham’s Professor Iain Chapple, one of the lead authors of the paper, admitted more research was needed to back up the link.
The way people normally catch Covid is by breathing in viral particles expelled by an infected person- the virus then makes its way down the nose or throat into the lungs.