Oral Hygiene During Covid-19

Oral Hygiene

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    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 bacteraemia, which facilitates the haematogenous 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 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 lung infection, there is a risk that oral secretions may be sucked into the lungs, that can cause infection. Some of the microorganisms present in the mouth that can cause these infections to involve “Porphyromonas gingivalis, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Prevotella intermedia,”. Parodontitis 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 toothbrush 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 per cent 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 practising 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 the 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 sanitiser 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.

    Takeaway

    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.

    FAQ's

    Practice a good oral hygiene practice. Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day and float between your teeth every day to remove the dental plaque. Visit your dentist at least once a year, even if you don’t have natural teeth or dentures.

    • 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 the plaque.
    • Drink less alcohol and do not smoke tobacco.

    Good oral/dental health results in good overall health. Dental problems, such as cavities or gum disease, may impair your ability to eat and speak properly, cause pain and a bad breath.

    The cause of poor oral hygiene is usually the failure of the patient to maintain good oral hygiene habits, such as regular brushing and flossing of teeth to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth. Some foods (sugars and acidic foods) and habits (such as smoking) may also result in poor oral hygiene and dental disease.

    Signs and symptoms of poor oral hygiene are:
    • Tooth pain
    • Bleeding or swollen gums
    • Deteriorating gums
    Oral health refers to the health of the teeth, gums, and the entire oral-facial system that allows us to smile, speak and chew. Some of the most common diseases affecting our oral health include cavities (tooth decay), gum (periodontal) disease, and oral cancer.