Periodontitis, or common gum disease, causes a systemic inflammatory response and appears linked to far worse outcomes on Covid-19 cases.
We have covered links between gum disease and liver health, pancreatic cancer and even Fusobacterium which is strongly linked to Colorectal cancer. Now there’s another illness to add to the list. Covid-19.
Researchers at McGill University in Canada have found a strong link between periodontitis, a common form of gum disease, and a greater risk of dying from Covid-19.
The link is probably because the bad bacteria that can cause gum disease end up as members of the gut microbiome, where they are likely to cause inflammation. And Covid-19 is an inflammatory respiratory disease.
People with gum disease and poor oral health were 3.5 times more likely to require hospitalisation, 4.5 times more likely to require a ventilator and 8.8 times more likely to die of Covid-19.
Professor Belinda Nicolau of McGill’s Faculty of Dentistry and one of the authors stated that systemic inflammation is one of the main characteristics of periodontitis, so the team set out to find if gum disease was in any way contributory.. The research was conducted in Qatar over a 6-month period to July 2020. 568 patients were included and the findings were clear: Periodontitis could well be an increased risk factor for complications in Covid-19.
- Association between periodontitis and severity of Covid-19 infection; a case controlled study; 1 Feb 2021; Wiley Online Library