Researchers believe gum disease could be causing severe symptoms of COVID-19
Could brushing and flossing help protect you better from COVID-19?
Researchers are now narrowing-in on why the virus affects people so differently. They believe your mouth could play a significant role in how sick you get from the virus.
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That means, just in case, if there was ever a time to take good care of your teeth and gums, a group of researchers says it's now. They believe that COVID-19 is spreading from gums into the bloodstream, even providing images to us, to demonstrate what they believe is happening.
"Prior to this, it was assumed automatically that when people got COVID, it started in the nose, in the mouth, and it was trickling down that trachea or the airway to the lungs. No one had ever thought about anything other than that because that's how influenza is and pneumonia, until we really recently discovered that what happened was, our lead radiologist from England, he basically saw that COVID is not coming in through that area! No signs of it radiologically, no airway changes, no mucosal changes," says Dr. Shervin Molayem. He’s a widely recognized Periodontist and oral surgeon who founded Mouth and Body Research Institute.
His research with other collaborators leads them to believe COVID-19 is going through the bloodstream to the lungs, which is why they're concentrating on the mouth, since it carries most of the blood vessels in the head and neck. Their research has led them to finding plenty of COVID in saliva and plaque around teeth.
"People who have gum disease, meaning they have bleeding of the gums, bacteria is entering possibly inflamed gums, deep pockets, they have a higher chance of possibly the virus entering in the bloodstream because there's a lot of blood vessels there. Once it comes in, it comes down the veins of the neck to the heart, where it gets pumped into the lungs, and that's why everything that they're seeing is actually blood disease, the strokes, the blood clots, all of that is all linked to that," says Dr. Molayem.
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Now that he teamed-up with doctors from around the world, their research is grabbing attention.
"We've been getting emails from all sorts of PhDs around the world, saying, quote unquote, this is the missing piece of my research. This is the makes total sense. I had a feeling about this last year, the mucosal changes in the mouth is where we're seeing the breakdown in the immune system. I mean, a lot of people are like wow this is why we're seeing so many blood issues," says Dr. Molayem.
So far, Dr. Molayem says their hypothesis is ringing true.
"Over 500 patients in a hospital setting, and they basically looked at their X rays from before to see if they had any bone loss, meaning the bacteria eating their bones, and they show that people who had periodontal disease, gum disease, had an eight and a half times higher chance of dying when contracting COVID, three and a half times higher chance of being on a ventilator and going to ICU, and these are taking out the fact other factors like age and comorbidity," explains Dr. Molayem.
He goes on to say that knowledge is power in fighting this confusing virus and knowing how this enemy travels in the body means we can all take better care of our teeth. He has been studying different types of mouthwash, even though some brands have come out claiming they do NOT prevent COVID, the doctor claims a key ingredient could help fight coronavirus.
"CPC is what you're looking for, cetylpyridinium chloride," states Dr. Molayem.
He also suggests anyone with gingivitis or swollen gums to try to get it under control. Dr. Molayem says if he can save just one life with this information, he'd be happy, but he's hoping it will be a lot more than that.
All types of health problems have been linked to our mouths from heart disease to Alzheimer's.
For more information: https://www.drmolayem.com/mouth-body-research-institute