In this series of blogs, we will look at the wide-ranging relationship between the Corona Virus (SARS CoV 2) and Oral Health…something not emphasized enough by our Political Leaders, barely mentioned in the press and mostly ignored by the local Dental Associations.
Let’s get started and look at some facts.
- “COVID – 19” is actually the DISEASE caused by the ‘novel coronavirus’ first identified in the Chinese Province of Wuhan late in 2019
- As more information became available about the virus it was described by the acronym SARS-CoV -2….. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Corona Virus 2.
- COVID – 19, the disease is extremely infectious as the virus is now known to easily spread and be transmitted from person to person via direct/indirect contact and contamination by an infected person’s body fluids… especially aerosolised oral and nasal fluids.
- The Corona Virus in most cases first enters the body via the mouth and/or nasal passages.
- Once infected, cells within the oral or nasal mucosa begin to produce and shed more virus particles.
- The virus particles continue to infect other cells, turning each cell into a little ‘virus factory’.
- In a short period of time, virus particles can make their way into the lungs (inhaled air) from the oral and nasal regions, infecting cells in the lungs and respiratory symptoms begin.
- Patients infected with Corona Virus can show symptoms and signs of the disease in other parts of the body, resulting in multiple organ dysfunction i.e.: body organs that start functioning abnormally. (1)
Researchers all over the world have been studying this COVID disease in detail and at no time in the past, has more medical / scientific research ever been published in such a short period about a single subject as now.
Of interest to me, a lot of research is now being conducted into the relationship between oral health and COVID – 19 disease severity.
British researchers amongst other have found a link between poor oral hygiene and the severity of COVID-19. A group of researchers in Britain recently published their research in the prestigious British Dental Journal a study titled “Could there be a link between oral hygiene and the severity of SARS – CoV-2 infections?” (2)
In PART 2 of this Blog, we will look into this study and others in a little more detail, and then in PART 3 we will critique our political and professional ‘leaders’ and their handling of the Pandemic when it comes to oral health care and advice and the delivery of dental services during this time.
Dr Hillel Martin New
BDSc (Melb) Dental Surgeon
Dr Hillel New is a Dental Surgeon in private practice in Melb. Australia. Dr New is principle dentist at CDIC and the AllOn4 Clinic Armadale. He has privileges at Melbourne’s Cabrini Hospital where he is the ‘Dento-alveolar Consultant’
- J Orthop Surg Res. 2020; 15: 178.
- Dent J 228,971-975 (2020)