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The current pandemic has disrupted lives in different ways. People are restricted from going out and doing many things, and that includes your regular visits to the dentist.
Most dentists postpone the non-emergency treatments across the globe. Others would strictly require you to book appointments as they can only accommodate a number of patients a day. Whether you need an appointment or simply need to consult, you can visit www.syracusefamilydentist.com and sites like it for your dental needs. Nonetheless, you’ll have to maintain good oral hygiene at home, especially during this global pandemic.
Oral Hygiene And COVID-19: Is There A Connection?
It’s been said that oral health is the window to your overall well-being. Good oral health is not only for preventing bad breath or tooth rot, but it’s also key to preventing several health issues such as heart attack, diabetes, and, possibly, COVID-19 infection.
Because of the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, people faced poor oral health and several periodontal diseases. This is mainly because of the restrictions implemented, preventing people from going out, and the fear of contracting the virus when visiting the dentist.
COVID-19 is a viral lung infection, contracted via the mouth or nose. So, if a person has a lung infection, poor oral hygiene can also increase the probability of inter-bacterial transfer between the mouth and the lungs, thereby increasing the impact of infections and potentially post-viral bacterial complications.
While good oral hygiene can’t eliminate bacteria, viruses, or fungi from the oral cavity, it can maintain the equilibrium among the non-pathogenic microbes in it. This helps reduce the risk of viral and other kinds of infection. This is achieved by routine cleanings like brushing and antibacterial mouthwashes that prevent pockets of high concentrations of microorganisms— whether in plaques or crypts in tonsils.
The Link Between Dental Health And General Well-being
Oral health has risen in significance in the past years as studies have uncovered a connection between diminishing oral health and basic systemic issues. It turns out that a healthy mouth helps in maintaining a healthy body.
Dental issues like cavities and gum disease can impair your ability to eat or speak properly— from bad breath to the unbearable pain of a rotting tooth.
Infections that start in your mouth may often lead to serious health issues. For instance, gingivitis causes gum inflammation which can later lead to periodontitis— a more serious infection that can cause tooth loss. Plus, periodontitis has also been associated with premature births and low-births-weight in pregnant women.
Meanwhile, a bacterial infection caused by gum diseases can go all the way to the heart and cause cardiovascular diseases, clogged arteries, or stroke.
Other oral infections can be linked to various health conditions like:
- Respiratory issues
In some cases, untreated gum disease can spread to the bloodstream, damaging several organ systems, possibly resulting in death.
How To Maintain Good Oral Hygiene At Home?
With the pandemic still spreading across the globe, visiting your dentist can be quite risky. So, it’s up to you to keep your dental health in check during this crisis. Here are some tips and instructions for keeping your mouth clean and healthy:
- Brush, at least, twice a day. Consider using a soft or medium-soft toothbrush, and avoid vigorous brushing as it can damage your gums.
- Use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by fighting germs and creating a protective barrier to your teeth.
- Don’t skip flossing. It gets rid of food stuck in between your teeth that the brush couldn’t reach. Plus, it also stimulates your gum, lowering inflammation.
- Use mouthwash to eliminate any food bits left after brushing and flossing. Clean your tongue and palate with a brush before sleeping to reduce the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth.
- Follow healthy eating habits like reducing sugary food in your diet as it can cause teeth erosion and lead to sensitivity.
- Quit smoking. Smoking can lead to gum disease, tooth staining, tooth loss, and, in more serious cases, oral cancer.
- Remember to change your toothbrush every three months or if it starts to fray, whichever comes first.
Oral health is more than just having fresh breath and no pain. Good oral hygiene also helps in the prevention of serious illnesses and diseases.
As the dental community and services continue to adjust to the changes caused by this crisis, it’s up to you to maintain good oral hygiene. Just like rigorous washing of hands and sanitizing, brushing, flossing, and maintaining good oral health are key to keeping you fit and healthy.