How Do I Avoid COVID-19?
As there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2, preventing being exposed to the virus is the only protection currently available.
How does the COVID-19 virus spread?
Transmission of the virus tends to happen from person to person. This ordinarily occurs through respiratory droplets from speaking, coughing, or sneezing while in close contact (within 6′) of other people. These drops can come into the body by way of the mouth, eyes, or nose, and may also cause infection when inhaled directly into the lungs.
Please keep in mind that people do not have to be displaying symptoms in order to be contagious.
COVID-19 can also be caught by touching surfaces where respiratory droplets have landed.
How can I protect myself from COVID-19?
The best ways to keep yourself safe from COVID-19 are as follows:
- Practice social distancing. Be sure to maintain a distance of six feet from other people while in public spaces.
- You should wash your hands frequently, and make sure you are using the correct hand-washing technique.
- If you have no access to soap, use hand sanitizer consisting of at least sixty percent alcohol.
- Try not to touch your mouth, nose, or eyes without having washed your hands prior.
- You should wear a mask when out in public.
- Always cover your mouth in the event that you cough or sneeze.
- Surfaces of your home should be disinfected and cleaned regularly.
Do I have COVID-19?
COVID-19 symptoms can be mild or severe. If you think you might have symptoms, check your temperature. COVID-19 symptoms consist of:
- Difficulty breathing
- Body aches and/or muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
- Vomiting and/or nausea
- Runny nose/congestion
What people are most at risk?
While COVID-19 may result in severe complications for anyone, those who are in the most danger are people who are over 65 years old as well as people who have any preexisting medical conditions, including the following:
- Lung disease or asthma
- People who have immunodeficiencies
- Serious heart conditions
- Liver disease
- Chronic kidney disease
- People who are severely overweight
What should I do if I think I’ve caught the virus?
The CDC provides a website with recommended guidelines to follow and a self-checker for those who think they may have COVID-19.
How Does Oral Health Affect COVID-19?
During the COVID-19 situation, a lot of people are making an effort to remain home as much as they can and are avoiding any appointments they think might not be necessary. But is it a good idea to postpone visits to the dentist because of the risk of catching COVID-19?
It turns out that the opposite may, in fact, be true, according to a paper published in the British Dental Journal.
Dentists have known for a long while about the links between the health of the mouth and the wellbeing of the body.
Victoria Sampson’s paper looks into how oral bacteria may be related to many of COVID-19’s more serious complications.
What complications are connected with COVID-19?
The most frequent serious complications of COVID-19 are:
- Blood clots
- Septic shock
- ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome)
The complications of COVID-19 are actually more likely to cause death than the COVID-19 virus. COVID-19 is a virus, but these complications are due to bacterial infection. Studies into cases of COVID-19 are finding that 80% of ICU patients are shown to have elevated levels of dangerous bacteria, requiring treatment with antibiotics. Where the severity of COVID-19 infections is concerned, this indicates that bacteria play a big part.
In what ways is the mouth linked to complications of COVID-19?
Oral bacteria have a relatively good chance of making their way to the respiratory tract. A lot of the same kinds of bacteria in periodontitis can worsen or cause illnesses such as sepsis or pneumonia.
This connection is where the need for good oral hygiene comes in. The movement of harmful bacteria between the mouth and lungs can be reduced by taking care of your mouth. There studies that have discovered that improved oral health can lower the risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia in patients in the ICU and help prevent bacterial superinfection.
Don’t put off maintaining your oral health!
While you may have reservations about visiting your dentist during COVID-19, this is the time to make sure you have the best oral health possible. Good oral health can lessen your risk of COVID-19-related complications and is good for the health of your body.
If you have a dental concern you would like looked into, or are overdue for an exam, contact us to schedule your next appointment at Milford Dental Excellence.
Significantly Greater Risk of Death With COVID-19 and Gum Disease
The link between the health of the mouth and the health of the rest of the body should not be disregarded. Many major relationships have been uncovered between oral conditions and diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Respiratory problems can be affected by the bacteria found in the mouth as well.
In Germany, a study was undertaken that followed patients who had been hospitalized with COVID-19. The researchers found that patients with gum disease (periodontitis) had a substantially higher chance of dying from respiratory failure than those without gum disease.
This respiratory condition is likely caused by interleukin (IL-6), a harmful protein produced by periodontitis. IL-6 travels from the gum tissue down into the lungs, causing severe respiratory ailments.
Founder of the UCLA Dental Research Journal, Shervin Molayem, DDS, says: “Gum disease has been linked to other breathing ailments, including pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, so we weren’t surprised to find a link to respiratory problems with COVID-19.”
Molayem continued with, “what shocked us was the discovery of the protein’s devastating, life-threatening impact on patients once they’re hospitalized. One tiny, inflammatory protein robbed them of their ability to breathe.”
The California Dental Association has released The Mouth-COVID Connection where you can learn more about these findings.
Now, more than ever, having a healthy mouth is essential. Be certain you have your six-month dental exam with Milford Dental Excellence scheduled and get in touch with us if you spot any of the symptoms of gum disease.