Experts have warned the coronavirus could wreak havoc this winter, despite ramped-up efforts to boost immune defences. As a result, the Government is still urging Britons to take simple precautions against the virus to reduce exposure and transmission. A new study has now shown good oral hygiene may slash the odds of severe illness from the virus. Mouthwash, researchers claim, may also help protect against severe illness.
The new discovery has prompted calls for people to take better care of their oral hygiene after it emerged it may protect them against the virus.
Researchers in Egypt determined that people with poor oral health are more likely to suffer from severe symptoms if they contract COVID-19.
The mouth, they explained, acts as a “reservoir” for the virus, causing those with bad teeth to be hit harder by the virus.
Using mouthwash and flossing, however, could stave off severe symptoms, according to the study’s leader.
Doctor Ahmed Mustafa Basuoni, from Cairo University in Egypt, said: “Oral tissues could act as a reservoir for SARS-CoV-2, developing a high viral load in the oral cavity.
“Therefore, we recommend improving oral hygiene measures, especially during Covid infection.
“Simple measures like regular dental visits and using mouthwashes could help in preventing or decreasing the severity of COVID-19.“
An unhealthy mouth and swollen gums may be a sign that the immune system and heart are at risk too, added doctor Basuoni.
The findings of the study, which looked at a sample of 86 Covid patients, were presented at the ACC Middle East medical conference.
They added evidence to a line of research showing bad oral hygiene is linked to serious illness from the virus.
The team noted that the link was more pronounced among people with poor cardiovascular health.
“Poor oral health was linked to delayed recovery, especially in patients with cardiac diseases,” the researchers explained.