A new study has found that people with gum disease who contracted COVID-19 were at least three times more likely to have severe symptoms from the disease, including a higher risk of hospitalization and death.
The Journal of Clinical Periodontology published a peer-reviewed study conducted by a team of international researchers earlier this month. They evaluated 568 patients. A total of 45% of them had gum disease. The researchers concluded that “periodontitis was associated with higher risk of ICU admission, need for assisted ventilation and death of COVID‐19 patients, and with increased blood levels of biomarkers linked to worse disease outcomes.”
The research team discovered that COVID-19 patients with gum disease were 3.54 times more likely to be admitted to the ICU, 4.57 times more likely to need a ventilator, and 8.81 times more likely to die from the virus, as compared to those who had contracted the COVID-19 virus but did not have periodontitis.
The reason for the increased risk of COVID-19 complications is that gum disease can be a sign of inflammation throughout the body.
“It is well-established that systemic inflammation is not only linked with periodontal disease, but to several other respiratory diseases as well,” said Dr. James Wilson, president of the American Academy of Periodontology.
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