Doctors Find Connection Between Poor Oral Hygiene, Covid-19
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Researchers from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) have found a direct connection between periodontitis (severe gum infection) and the severity of Covid in patients. The study is aimed to clinically assess the association between periodontitis and Covid-19 related outcomes. It involved Dr Ashish Bhalla, Department of Internal Medicine, PGIMER, Dr Mini P Singh, Department of Virology, and Dr Shipra Gupta, Oral Health Sciences Centre, among others.

Periodontal disease is considered a pandemic in its own right with the reported caseload far exceeding that of Covid. There is an association between the presence of periodontal disease and the development and course of respiratory illnesses. Eighty-two Covid patients reporting to the communicable diseases ward or admitted to the hospital between 15 January, 2021, and 20, February, 2021, were accommodated in the study.

According to the study, patients suffering from Covid and periodontal disease were more likely to be admitted to a hospital as compared to those, who did not. Researchers have found a significant association between periodontal disease and oxygen requirement in Covid patients. “Higher severity of periodontitis led to 7.45 odds of requiring assisted ventilation, 36.52 odds of hospital admission, 14.58 odds of being deceased and 4.42 odds of Covid-related pneumonia,” read the study results.

Researchers concluded that poorer periodontal disease outcome measures might imply a worse Covid-related prognosis. “Based on this finding, it will thus be justified to state that patients with periodontal disease seem to have a poorer chance of survival when compared to those without this ailment,” read the study.

Researchers highlighted that assessment of the periodontal status of individuals could aid in the identification of risk groups during the pandemic, along with reinforcing the need to maintain oral hygiene and seeking periodontal care.

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