Ask a Dentist

March 29, 2021

Q: Can Gum Disease Make COVID-19 Worse?

Yes, your oral health, especially your gums, can affect what happens to you if you catch COVID-19. Having gum disease can be painful and lead to further health problems. At Dental Image Therapy Centres, we want your gums to be healthy and your smile confident. 

Your mouth is a major connection to the rest of the body and can greatly affect your overall health, especially if you have other health concerns or issues. Gum disease has been shown to cause more severe symptoms in diabetics and those with heart disease. So it’s no surprise that if you have gum disease you’re at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms if you catch COVID-19. The Journal of Clinical Periodontology released a study early this month stating that there is a higher risk of ICU admission and even death for COVID-19 patients who have gum disease.

But what is gum disease? 

Periodontitis, or gum disease, is an inflammation of the soft tissues in your mouth. It can become chronic and without proper treatment, leads to tooth loss. Tooth loss occurs when your gums weaken and retract from around your teeth. Read our previous blog about gum disease to learn more.

Are there symptoms of gum disease I should look out for?

Look out for changes in your gums. The most common symptoms of periodontitis include:

  • Swelling or pus
  • Colour change - bright red, dusky red or purple 
  • Tenderness or painful chewing
  • Bleeding - which may present as pink on your toothbrush after brushing
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth

You can get gum disease from genetics, poor diet or poor oral hygiene. Watch what you eat; replace your sugary or acidic foods with healthier options like fruits and veggies, and make sure to drink plenty of water between meals to wash away food particles and bacteria. Take care of your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing at least twice a day, and follow these other tips. It’s incredibly important to visit your dentist regularly, every six months, for checkups and cleanings. Getting ahead of gum disease is how you can prevent further problems in your mouth and overall health. 

We’re here to help you take care of your mouth so  you can have a confident smile. Book your checkup and cleaning today at either of our Winnipeg clinics. We’re conveniently located in St. Vital Centre and Garden City Shopping Centre.