Aug 10, 2020

New research suggests a possible link between gum disease and respiratory failure from COVID-19. 

First, we’ve long known that taking care of your teeth and gums protects your overall health. Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, can lead to serious risk factors for heart disease, pneumonia, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

However, regular teeth cleanings can help you avoid such risks. Fortunately, studies show that patients with respiratory infections can see improvement after having their teeth cleaned.

Now, research to be published in the October Issue of the Journal of California Dental Association links gum disease to a higher risk of death from COVID-19-related respiratory failure.

Beverly Hills dental surgeon Dr. Shervin Molayem and South African periodontist, Dr. Carla Pontes, are urging hospitals and medical doctors to consider dental protocols for patients.

Their research finds that the release of inflammatory marker interleukin 6 (IL-6) due to gum disease bacteria strongly correlates to COVID-19 respiratory failure.

Gum Disease and Inflammation 

From ABC7 News: 

“When we get plaque in our mouths and into our gums, what that does is the IL-6, and the other inflammatory proteins get released locally,” Molayem said.

Molayem said a German study of the effects of IL-6 on COVID patients inspired his research.

“It showed that these IL-6 levels, when over 80, is a predictor for being on a ventilator,” Molayem said.

Thus, the research argues that high levels of IL-6 mean you are more likely to require a ventilator to breathe after contracting the novel coronavirus. Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently reported that COVID-19 victims in U.S. hospitals who needed ventilators had an 80% mortality rate.

Easy Screenings for Gum Disease

In light of this research, it’s even more important than ever to see a dental professional who can check for periodontal (gum) disease.

From Dental Review News:

“While you can’t stop COVID-19 with your toothbrush, you may be able to reduce its severity,” said Dr. David Corradi, President of California Society of Periodontists.

Therefore, we urge our patients who may be concerned about gum disease to come in for routine screening. 

Dr. Schwartz uses the most advanced diagnostic tool available. Using a high powered Phased Contrast Microscope, Dr. Schwartz examines a culture taken from your gums to precisely determine the levels of bacteria present. Thus, he can screen for the bacteria that release Interleukin (IL-6) proteins. 

Moreover, you can avoid the inflammatory risks these bacteria pose. Not only is this a good idea as we face the COVID-19 pandemic, but it can help you avoid a host of other health risks. 

Periodontal disease causes bleeding gums but often goes undetected and undiagnosed.

Sadly, gum disease affects approximately 75% of adults.

Get Started from Home

You can see more about the risks of gum disease here. Then, contact Dr. Schwartz to discuss effective periodontal therapy. The examination is quick and painless, and effective treatments are available.

Call our office at (914) 271-6224 or use our online request form to find out more.

Get started with a virtual consultation here. It’s easy and takes minutes. Thus, you don’t have to leave home to find out more.

As always, our warm, caring staff welcomes new patients who may have avoided dental care in the past. Today, it’s more important than ever to get started, so please take that first step. You’ll be glad that you did.

Ask about the many protocols we’re taking to ensure everyone’s safety today. Dr. Schwartz welcomes new patients from many Westchester County communities, offering affordable dental care in Cortlandt, OssiningPeekskillCrotonville, and Croton on Hudson

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More about the research by Dr. Shervin Molayem from ABC7 below:

 

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