Oral Hygiene During Covid-19
We believe that the role of oral bacteria in facilitating co-infection in COVID-19 is relevant but overlooked. Poor oral hygiene is believed to be a crucial ecological pressure that drives complex microbial communities in the mouth into dysbiosis. Ecological shifts in the dysbiotic ecosystem favor an increased prevalence of pathogenic oral bacteria. Daily activities such as mastication, flossing, and tooth brushing can trigger bacteremia, which facilitates the hematogenous spread of oral bacteria and inflammatory mediators, leading to systemic inflammation in some patients. Good oral hygiene is therefore important for controlling the overall microbial growth in the mouth, maintaining or restoring the oral symbiotic balance, and preventing the spread of oral bacteria to other sites in the body.
Dental Problems During Covid-19
Populations are negatively impacted by a coronavirus and are also at higher risk for oral diseases and experience higher rates of imbalances in oral and oral health care. COVID-19 led to the closure and reduction of hours of the dental practice, except for emergency and emergency services, limiting routine care and prevention. Dental care contains aerosol-generating practices that may increase viral transmission. The pandemic provides the opportunity for the dental profession to shift more towards non-aerosolizing, preventive approaches to care and away from surgical interventions. Regulatory barriers to access to oral hygiene during the pandemic could have a positive impact if sustained in the future.
Oral Hygiene and Covid-19
During the major outbreak of Covid-19, many people had faced poor oral health and periodontal disease. If a person is having a lung infection, there is a risk that oral secretions may be sucked into the lungs, which can cause infection. Some of the microorganisms present in the mouth that can cause these infections involve “Porphyromonas gingivalis, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Prevotella intermedia,”. Periodontitis or gum infection is amongst the most common causes of harmful bacterial infections. These microorganisms lead to the formation of cytokines, such as Interleukin 1 (IL1) and Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF), which can be detected in the saliva and can reach the lungs leading to infection. Inadequate oral hygiene may raise the risk of inter-bacterial exchanges between the lungs and the mouth; increase the risk of respiratory infections and potentially post-viral bacterial complications.
How Does Oral Hygiene Reduce The Risk of Viral Infections?
Oral hygiene is not really the total elimination of viruses, bacteria, and fungi from the oral cavity, because this is practically impossible. Rather, it is the maintenance of equilibrium between the non-pathogenic microbes in it. Sustaining this balance reduces the risk of viral and other types of infection. This is obtained by routine cleanings of antibacterial mouthwashes and by eliminating pockets of high concentrations of microorganisms in the form of biofilms, whether in plaques or in unsafe crypts and pockets in tonsils.
Can Poor Oral Hygiene Increase the Risk of Contracting COVID-19?
Just to answer, yes. Viruses such as COVID-19 may enter the body through the nose and mouth. They tend to be attached to the liner and then invade healthy cells through a process called internalization. This causes a sore throat. The nose, back of the nose, and throat have receptors for COVID-19 called ACE2 receptors that cause these areas to act as reservoirs for the virus.
Tips for maintaining good Oral Hygiene
To help reduce the risk of COVID-19, the Guidelines recommend that you practice good basic hygiene, such as proper handwashing, social distancing and not touching your face. In addition, good dental hygiene is also crucial to help prevent you and your family from getting sick. Below are some helpful oral hygiene tips. Many people don’t realize that their toothbrushes can exhibit bacteria, blood, and saliva. Not only does improper toothbrush care result in poor hygiene over time, but it can also spread viral infections such as COVID-19.
Clean And Disinfect Your Toothbrush
Coronavirus may remain on the surface for up to three days, including toothbrushes. However, you could even disinfect your toothbrush daily by rinsing it with 0.5 percent hydrogen peroxide for up to 15 minutes. This solution can kill the bacteria of COVID-19 in about a minute. Before brushing, ensure you rinse off your toothbrush.
Replace Your Toothbrush
Everyone should replace their electric toothbrush head or disposable toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. During the coronavirus pandemic, dentists recommend replacing them more often. Or at least every three months.
Store Your Toothbrush Properly
Allow the toothbrush to dry after every use by keeping it in an upright position. This helps to avoid the spread and growth of bacteria.
Practice Good Oral Care at Home
Maintaining proper oral health at home is always needed to prevent cavities, gum disease, and other conditions. However, it is particularly essential to take note of your teeth and mouth during the coronavirus pandemic to prevent the spread of the disease. Tips for practicing good oral care at home:
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash to kill germs and bacteria in your mouth.
- Drink a lot of water fluoridation.
- Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day.
- Floss your teeth daily to remove the buildup of plaque.
- Drink less alcohol and do not smoke tobacco.
Wash Your Hands Regularly
The Guidelines recommend cleaning your hands at least 20 seconds a few times a day to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you have to leave your house for any reason, you should wash your hands right after you return home. A hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol is also capable of killing the coronavirus.
Avoid Touching Your Face And Mouth
Besides washing your hands and cleaning your home regularly, do not touch your face, lips, mouth, eyes, and ears with dirty hands. If you bite your nails, do not do as much as you can to prevent COVID-19 from contracting.
Regular oral hygiene has been the practice of maintaining your mouth clean and disease-free. Regular teeth and tongue brushing is the simplest oral hygiene method to be followed at least twice a day. Rinse and throat with antiseptic mouthwash is also helpful. Sufficient water hydration results in a healthy flow of saliva, which washes away many harmful organisms and pathogens. Routine check and regular professional cleaning with your dentist are also necessary and highly recommended.
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