“Long Hauler” COVID Impact On Oral Health

Posted by PCE DENTAL IMPLANT CENTER Apr 12, 2021

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As time goes by, we’re learning more and more about so-called COVID “Long Haulers” who continue to suffer from linand symptoms after their initial infection with the novel coronavirus. These seemingly odd symptoms range from everything from acute tinnitus to fatigue, even if those initial symptoms weren’t experienced during their active COVID infection.

So, it comes as no surprise to learn that there are gering illnesses apparently oral health side-effects in certain individuals, post COVID infection. And we’re not talking about just the loss of taste sensation, but actual visible changes within their mouths. According to a fairly recent publication with the Perio-Implant Advisory, gum experts are seeing some significant oral side-effects in their patients:

COVID-Induced Dry Mouth

Although there’s still a lot to learn, xerostomia (dry mouth) seems to be fairly common in COVID-19 patients. It may be due to a heightened amount of mouth breathing from mask wearing, limited hydration, or possible damage to saliva glands.

When we see a decrease in saliva flow, we typically observe an uptick in tooth decay, burning mouth syndrome, and oral infections such as “thrush.” If you’re noticing any of these issues and you previously had a known case of COVID-19, that could be part of the reason why you’re seeing more problems.

Ulcers and Inflammation in Your Mouth

Studies of COVID-19 have shown that the virus enters the body through tissues like those inside of the mouth, damaging the blood vessels in their path. In turn, those tissues become oxygen deprived and then begin to become inflamed or develop ulcers. In fact, oral ulcers were considered a possible warning sign of a COVID infection.

When in the body, COVID-19 is shown to alter immune regulation, which can then lead to an increased swelling around the teeth in people who already have periodontal disease. Fairly early on, medical and dental professionals determined that the presence of gum disease actually increased a person’s chances of requiring a ventilator if they were hospitalized for the coronavirus.

“Cracked Teeth”

Apparently, there seems to be a surge in people complaining of broken, cracked, brittle teeth after overcoming their COVID-19 infection. Although there could be several reasons why someone’s teeth suddenly start breaking, experts suspect that it’s due to increased stress and sleep deprivation. A host of factors such as job loss, illness, quarantine, and working while managing their child’s schooling at home can all play a comprehensive role in stress. Bruxism — or “teeth grinding” and clenching — is a common side effect of a stressful lifestyle. When chronic bruxism goes unchecked, it’s only a matter of time before teeth start breaking.

Dental Specialist in The Woodlands, Conroe

Our doctors at PCE's intense training and experience in soft tissue therapy makes him an expert when it comes to combatting the oral side effects of disease. Whether you’ve suffered from periodontitis in the past or are feeling the after-effects of COVID, we’re here to help you work toward a healthier smile in the future. Contact us today to request an appointment.

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