If ever there was a universal human ability, beyond things like running, jumping, and problem solving, it would be the superb ability humans display to ignore good dental hygiene.
Brushing and flossing after every meal is a difficult habit for children to develop and one that many adults happily forget. But it’s not just gum disease that could affect those who ignore their dentist’s advice: Recent research has linked gum disease to many other diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as increased disease. mortality from COVID-19.
Poor oral hygiene can lead to gingivitis, a gum disease that, if ignored, can develop into more serious periodontitis. The latter was found in a study by the European Federation of Periodontology to affect half of all British adults, and by the CDC affect about the same number of American adults.
The Journal of Clinical Periodontology he found that people with COVID-19 and gum disease were 900% more likely to die from the virus, while they were also 350% more likely to be hospitalized.
While the two phenomena appear to be unrelated, the correlation is simply the result of chronic inflammation, stimulated by diseased gums, that exacerbates the inflammatory response generated by SARS-CoV-2.
This reaction effect is quite common in pathology, with some inflammatory responses such as interleukin (IL) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) correspondingly found in almost all diseases known to man. IL-6 is a major factor in mortality from COVID-19, for example.
The cause is simply the function of different immune agents in our body. One of the main inducers of death in patients affected by COVID-19 is the much discussed “cytokine storm” referring to inflammatory cytokines, a type of immune cell, that attack our own tissues with such fury that they cannot survive.
Fortunately, brushing and flossing regularly, which in terms of healthy habits is much easier to do than cutting sugar out of your diet or spending 150 minutes a week exercising vigorously, is often all that is required. required to prevent gum disease.
Also, periodontitis is fully reversible through good oral hygiene practices of brushing, flossing, and mouthwash.
The window of your body
“The Covid study is another indicator of the fact that a healthy mouth is necessary for your overall health,” Nicola West, secretary general of the European Federation of Periodontology, told the London Times.
“The mouth is a window to the body. Bacteria from the mouth enter the bloodstream, where they can harm the rest of the body. This explains why gum disease has been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and dementia. “
This is because, writes West, gum disease bacteria can cross the blood-brain barrier, especially later in life, when our immune systems are weaker and our risk of gum disease increases.
In short, there has never been a better time to start improving your oral hygiene routine. A beautiful smile apparently reflects beautiful health, after all.
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