Can COVID-19 Hurt Your Gums?
Does COVID Make Your Gums Hurt
As COVID-19 is a new disease, there is a lot that is yet to be learnt about it. Once regarded as a lung disease, COVID-19 has shown to manifest in different ways in different people. Some individuals tend to lose their sense of smell and taste, while others experience high-grade fevers with breathlessness and weakness.
There are reports that show that COVID-19 can affect the oral health of an individual as well. Those who have had a history of COVID-19 infection have shared that their gums have become weak and teeth have either grown discolored or wobbly. Though more research is needed to prove the association of COVID-19 infection and gum health, there are many clinical findings that suggest a strong connection between the two.
Is Gums Hurting a Sign of COVID
The most common oral signs observed by those who have been infected and recovered from COVID-19 are-
- The teeth becoming loose and falling out without bleeding
- Painful and sensitive gums
- Gray teeth or discolored teeth
- Dental decay
- Root canal treatment needed for most of the teeth
One theory explains that the oral health deterioration could be attributed to the obstruction of the flow of blood to the gums and teeth. Coronavirus infects the blood vessels and causes clot formation thereby, blocking the regular blood flow to the various organs. The obstructed flow of blood is the prime reason for different complications affecting vital organs like heart, intestine or lungs.
Our jaw has a plexus of blood vessels that supply the gums, teeth and tongue. When the virus causes damage to the blood vessels, the supply to each of these organs is compromised resulting in deterioration of the gums and teeth.
According to the second theory, the ACE2 receptors located in the cells of the mouth could be another reason for the impact of COVID-19 on the gums and teeth.
Coronavirus clings on to the ACE2 receptors present on the cells of some specific organs like lungs. That is why the lungs are severely affected by COVID-19. Our mouth is also rich in ACE2 receptors. Hence, there is a high probability of the virus to thrive and multiply inside the oral cavity.
Many other viruses like Coxsackievirus infect the oral cavity and can even show the first signs of their existence inside the mouth.
Can COVID-19 Hurt Your Gums
Apart from the above mentioned theories, there could be some supporting reasons for the deterioration of gum health in those suffering from coronavirus infection like-
- Improper nutrition– As the body is trying to fight off the infection, an individual may not be able to pay attention to the kind of food that he is having. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies which can influence the gums and teeth.
- Reduced visits to the dentist– Due to the lockdowns held across the globe to curb the spread of the virus, dental offices were not functioning for months together. This could have contributed to the increased incidence of dental and gum problems.
The only way of dealing with such problems is by talking to your dentist about it. Thorough sessions of professional dental cleaning along with supportive care can work wonders with your gum health.
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