A new sub-study recently showed a relationship between poor oral health and severe COVID-19 condition in terms of impact on patients specifically those with a heart condition.

A SciTechDaily report specified that such a correlation demonstrates a possible need of reconsidering oral health as an additional risk factor for patients with a heart condition who may get infected by COVID-19.

The said research, investigating Egyptian cardiac patients, is scheduled to be presented on October 14 and 15, 2021 during the ACC Middle East 2021, a mixture meeting held in alliance by the American College of Cardiology, Egyptian Society of Cardiology, and the ACC Egypt Chapter.

The oral cavity is a probable reservoir for respiratory pathogens. Past trials have associated poor oral hygiene with increased inflammation and cardiovascular disease.

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Science Times - How is Poor Oral Health Affecting COVID-19 Severity? New Sub-Study Shows Impact, Particularly on Heart Patients
(Photo: Peter Stanic from Pixabay)
A new study recently showed a relationship between poor oral health and severe COVID-19 condition in terms of impact on patients specifically those with a heart condition.

Link Between COVID-19 Severity and Poor Oral Health

Researchers said the severity of COVID-19 has also been associated with an inflammatory response. The study investigators hypothesized that augmented COVID-19 severity may be associated with a poor oral health condition, particularly in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

The study examined oral health status, the severity of symptoms of COVID-19, C-reactive protein or CRP levels, and period or length of recovery.

According to a similar EurekAlert! report, cardio consultant Ahmed Mustafa Basuoni, MD from Cairo University, and the study's lead author, oral tissues could function as a reservoir for COVID-19 virus, developing a high load of the infection in the oral cavity.

As a result, explained Basuoni, they recommend the maintenance of oral health, as well as improvement of oral hygiene measures, specifically during COVID-19 infection.

The cardio consultant also said simple measures such as the practice of oral hygiene, educating others about the importance of oral health either in systemic diseases or COVID-19 infection, through the utilization of media and community medicine, regular visits to the dentist, especially in patients who have CVD, and using antibacterial mouthwashes could help prevent or alleviate the severity of the infection.

Impact of Oral Care on COVID-19

The research involved more than 80 Egyptian patients with heart ailments and who tested positive in their COVID-19 PCR test. Using the questionnaire, scientists from Cairo University examined oral care and COVID-19 severity. Specifically, an oral care score was used to identify the impact of oral health on COVID-19.

Data on the PCR tests and CRP levels were collected through the questionnaire and verified via medical records. CRP levels are used to find out when there is an infection in the body.

In their study, the researchers specified that the correlation between oral health and severity of COVID-19 exhibited a substantial inverse connection, as did the association between oral health and recovery duration and CRP values.

Poor oral health was linked to increased CRP values and deferred recovery, specifically in patients suffering from cardiac diseases.

Commenting on the report, Basuoni said oral health care needs to be part of routine history taking, as well as investigation in cardiac patients.

Basuoni said oral health should be part of usual history taking and examination for cardiac patients. They should be taught proper oral hygiene and regular dental checkups as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Lastly, he added that they need to devote more research resources for the easily modifiable risk factors.
Related information about Oral Health and COVID-19 is shown on the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario's YouTube video below:


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