As if you don’t have enough to worry about during the COVID-19 crisis, certain symptoms of the illness may increase your risk of developing oral health problems such as cavities if you’re not careful. Knowing how different viruses and illnesses impact other parts of your body is the key to taking care of yourself while you’re sick. Read on to learn how COVID-19 can impact the health of your teeth and gums and what you can do to stop it.
What are the Symptoms of COVID-19?
According to The World Health Organization, some of the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and fatigue. Depending on pre-existing health conditions, age, and a variety of other factors, the symptoms of this illness can vary in severity. While about 80 percent of people who become infected can recover at home by taking medications to ease their discomfort, it’s estimated that one in five can become seriously ill.
How Can COVID-19 Impact Your Oral Health?
Having a sore throat or dry cough are uncomfortable to live with, which is why so many people end up taking syrups, lozenges, or other medications to combat them. Unfortunately, there are two main ingredients found in these remedies that can increase your risk of oral health problems, alcohol and sugar.
Sugar is often used to help combat the naturally bitter taste of medications, making it easier to stomach. However, it’s also a primary food source for bad oral bacteria that produce acid and toxins that can harm your teeth and gums. Alcohol is another ingredient that’s used in small quantities in medication, but can have a big affect on your teeth if you frequently take cough syrups for weeks at a time. Because alcohol is so acidic, it can slowly wear down your enamel, which is the protective layer of your teeth.
To keep your mouth healthy as you’re overcoming COVID-19, be sure to get medications that are either sugar or alcohol-free. If you’re not able to find any, it’s important to stay hydrated while you’re sick and stick to your daily hygiene routine. This will prevent the accumulation of harmful oral bacteria that can cause cavities and gum disease.
When Should You Go to the ER?
Although a majority of patients who contract COVID-19 are able to comfortably recover at home, that’s not the case for everyone, which is why it’s important to know when you should visit your emergency room. COVID-19 can cause life-threatening symptoms such as difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain, bluish lips or face, and confusion, according to the CDC. These are all signs that you need to seek medical attention immediately.
Knowing how illnesses impact the rest of your body allows you to put preventive measures in place that help keep you healthy as you overcome sickness. This will allow you to make a full recovery without having to deal with additional issues, such as cavities, afterward!
About the Practice
At Premier Dental Care, we offer the expertise of four dentists that have attended some of the most prestigious dental schools across the country. Our team works together to provide patients with the highest quality of care and focuses on making everybody feel comfortable and at-ease during their appointments. During the COVID-19 crisis, our office will be open for providing emergency dental care for patients and is looking forward to continuing elective treatments on June 15th. For questions or to schedule an appointment, visit Premier Dental Care’s website or call 541-200-6747.