Pandemic teeth: Affinity Health talks about how Covid-19 can wreck your chompers
Can the coronavirus impact your pearly whites? Affinity Health says the evidence suggests it’s possible. In light of National Toothache Day on February 9, 2021, we brush up on what we do – and don’t know – about oral health and Covid-19.
Dentists worldwide have reported a significant spike in oral problems since the beginning of the pandemic – and have been questioning whether the cause is stress or COVID-19.
According to some experts, the SARS-COV-2 virus can disrupt vital blood flow in the body, leading to dental problems such as tooth decay, tooth loss, loosening of teeth, and gum infections. Also, stress resulting from the global pandemic can lead to teeth clenching or grinding, resulting in cracking and fracturing of teeth.
While occasional grinding of teeth usually does not cause harm, the teeth can be damaged when teeth grinding occurs regularly, and other oral health complications may occur.
Practising preventive care and following good dental hygiene can root away threatening signs. A good diet also plays an impactful role in post-COVID oral health care.
“While there is no concrete evidence that the virus can lead to tooth problems, some South Africans with underlying dental problems have described teeth falling out, as well as sensitive gums and teeth chipping after a bout of Covid-19,” says Affinity Health CEO Murray Hewlett.
Some dentists are sceptical, citing a lack of data that Covid-19 alone could cause dental symptoms but are open to such possibilities, mainly because a large percentage of adults suffer a form of periodontal disease, including infections and inflammation of the gums and bone that surround teeth. Other inflammatory health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, also correlate with gum disease in the same people.
While we begin to understand the effects of Covid-19 on teeth, Affinity Health urges South Africans to err on the side of caution and take proper precautions to protect themselves from the coronavirus, as well as a daily dental hygiene routine.
“Oral health professionals appear to be taking a wait-and-see approach as of now. It, however, remains imperative that we all look after our teeth and keep them healthy,” adds Hewlett.
Affinity Health provides the following tips on how to take care of your teeth:
- Brush at least twice a day to get rid of germs and plague, moving the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions.
- Always remember to gently brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride works by combating germs that can lead to decay, as well as providing your teeth with a protective barrier.
- Floss twice a day to ensure little food pieces that may be getting stuck in between your teeth is removed.
- Drink more water during the day, as this can wash away some of the adverse effects of sticky and acidic foods and beverages in between brushes.
- See your dentist at least twice a year.
- Don’t clench or grind your teeth and practice ways to help your body destress. You can also invest in a mouth guard to prevent grinding your teeth while you sleep.\
About Affinity Health
Affinity Health aims to provide premier quality, affordable medical insurance to South Africans. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service when they are faced with injury or illness. We work to deliver innovative solutions that are simple, cost-effective, and proven, so our cover is structured to ensure that you get exactly what you need. For more information, follow us on Facebook, and Instagram.