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How Does COVID-19 Impact Oral Health?

How Does COVID-19 Impact Oral Health?

The COVID-19 pandemic has given us a lot to think about and consider when it comes to our overall health, including our oral health. Sadly, the pandemic has meant delays in getting adequate professional dental care for a lot of families. Those whose dental concerns might have been easily taken care of by a dental provider may postpone their appointments. Since the teeth and gum problems do not usually resolve on their own, oral health concerns tend to worsen and might even need more treatment.

Did you know that COVID-19 can impact oral health? Asymptomatic or otherwise, those who get infected with COVID-19 have a lot going on and may tend to neglect their oral health. However, there is a trickle-down effect that might lead to dental concerns. The more you are informed, the more you can take steps to protect your oral – as well as your overall – health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention enumerates a list of symptoms of COVID-19, but shortness of breath, a cough, and sore throat, particularly can lead to oral health problems or aggravation of existing issues.

Persistent coughing may lead to dry mouth. On its own, it might seem insignificant. However, too much coughing means that there is less saliva produced in the mouth. The saliva acts as a cleaning and moistening agent that helps wash away cavity-causing bacteria. Not having enough saliva in the mouth makes us more prone to tooth decay and gum problems.

Dry mouth can lead to sore throat – or it can worsen an existing one. To alleviate symptoms, many turn to cough syrups and drops. However, this go-to remedy is typically rich in sugar, which helps mask the taste of the medication. And we all know that sugar is the main culprit of tooth decay.

You can lessen the effects of cough syrups and drops by brushing your teeth or rinsing them with water. If you can, look for sugar-free medicine alternatives, which will help alleviate your symptoms without the sugar.

Another solution for shortness of breath and coughs are inhalers. However, did you know that not cleaning your mouth after using an inhaler can result in oral health issues like oral thrush? So, be sure to clean your mouth or rinse it with water to remove the leftover medicine in your mouth.

While it is true that the oral health implications mentioned above are nowhere near life-threatening, they can develop into bigger health concerns if left untreated. Contact your Dallas dentist if you are still worried about your oral health after recovering from COVID-19.