Brushing Your Teeth, Using Mouthwash Can Prevent You From Contracting Severe COVID-19

 Brushing your teeth and keeping your gums healthy may lower the risk of Covid infection, scientists have suggested. 

Writing in the Journal of Oral Medicine and Dental Research, scientists speculated that coronavirus could pass into people’s lungs from saliva, with the virus entering the bloodstream through infected gums, rather than airways.

This could explain why people with poor oral hygiene appear to be at greater risk of contracting severe cases of Covid. 

The discovery could also make daily steps to reduce the build-up of plaque – such as careful toothbrushing and using sterilising mouthwashes – a potentially life-saving course of action. 

The international team of researchers from the UK, South Africa and the US recommended the public take these steps to maintain oral hygiene and reduce gum disease. They also noted evidence that specific ingredients in some cheap and widely available mouthwash products are highly effective at fighting Covid.

Professor Iain Chapple, from the University of Birmingham, said it could explain why some people develop Covid and others do not. 

He said: ‘It could also change the way we manage the virus – exploring cheap or even free treatments targeted at the mouth and, ultimately, saving lives.

‘Gum disease makes the gums leakier, allowing microorganisms to enter into the blood. ‘Simple measures, such as careful toothbrushing and interdental brushing to reduce plaque build-up, along with specific mouthwashes… could help decrease the virus’ concentration in saliva and help mitigate the development of lung disease and reduce the risk of deterioration to severe Covid-19.’ 

Professor Chapple added that further studies are ‘urgently required’ to investigate the new theories. ‘But in the meantime daily oral hygiene and plaque control will not only improve oral health and wellbeing, but could also be lifesaving in the context of the pandemic,’ he said.

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