virus

Does Oral Bacteria Impact COVID-19 Complications?

August 25th, 2020

Scientists and researchers across the globe are in full-force battle mode when it comes to finding out more information about COVID-19 to help beat the virus. Although COVID-19 has brought about many challenges, losses, and uncertainties, it has brought so many individuals and an abundance of knowledge from across the world together, even if simply virtually! This constantly evolving pandemic has helped fuel important research, all sharing a common goal of finding connections and solutions to bringing this outbreak to a close. In the United Kingdom, researchers have explored the potential connection between oral health and COVID-19. The study, “Could There Be a Link Between Oral Hygiene and the Severity of SARS-Cov-2 Infections?,” published in the British Dental Journal, aimed to determine whether health complications and deaths as a result of COVID-19 were linked to oral bacteria and periodontal disease (gum disease). Also, they hoped to learn more about whether or not the amount of bacteria present in the mouth plays a role in the severity of COVID-19, as well as how improving oral health could possibly lower the risk of individuals experiencing detrimental COVID-19 complications. As many researchers have found, COVID-19 seems to impact individuals in differing ways in terms of symptoms and severity of the disease. Some of the common severe complications of coronavirus include pneumonia, heart problems, blood clots, organ failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and acute kidney injury.

In a healthy mouth, the presence of oral bacteria is natural and exists in harmony with the rest of your body. However, when the bacterial balance becomes out of control, harmful bacteria can not only create problems for your teeth and gums, but also for other parts of your body such as your lungs. The study highlighted several research studies that suggest that bacterial infections were common in individuals with severe COVID-19 symptoms. For instance, a study by Zheng and colleagues found that 50% of patients within their conducted study with severe COVID-19 who passed away also had the presence of a secondary bacterial infection. In addition, a study by Liu and colleagues found similar results, revealing that over 80% of the severe cases of COVID-19 in their study had significantly high bacterial loads as a result of a bacterial superinfection.

The study authors note that tiny droplets of saliva containing oral bacteria that are linked to gum disease, such as Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis)Fusobacterium nucleatum (F. nucleatum) and Prevotella intermedia (P. intermedia), can contaminate other areas of your body, for instance the lungs. This can create an inflammatory response throughout the body and increase the risk of many developing other infections and complications. Thus, good oral hygiene practices and management of gum disease has been widely studied and associated with a reduction in the risk of respiratory infections. Not to mention, properly managing gum disease also plays a role in lowering the risks and complications associated with other systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The authors of the study suggest that taking care of your oral health could particularly go a long way in lowering your risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19. The authors concluded, “We recommend that oral hygiene be maintained, if not improved, during a SARS-CoV-2 infection in order to reduce the bacterial load in the mouth and the potential risk of a bacterial superinfection. We recommend that poor oral hygiene be considered a risk to post-viral complications, particularly in patients already predisposed to altered biofilms due to diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular disease. Bacteria present in patients with severe COVID-19 are associated with the oral cavity and improved oral hygiene may play a part in reducing the risk of complications.” More research is needed to determine if there is a concrete connection between oral bacteria and COVID-19 complications, as well as the link between gum disease and the virus.

So, don’t forget that your mouth is connected to your entire body, which means keeping up with your overall health goes hand in hand with also maintaining your oral health! Continue to stay safe and healthy.

This pandemic has impacted us all, but our community is indeed all stronger together. Our team at WDG always has your safety and health as our top priority, and we have implemented additional safety measures and equipment to help prevent the transmission of all infections, including COVID-19. Wellesley Dental Group has completely reopened since June 8th, 2020 for all dental procedures and cleanings! Thank you for entrusting your health and dental care to us at Wellesley Dental Group.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://decisionsindentistry.com/2020/08/paper-explores-connection-between-oral-hygiene-severity-covid/?inf_contact_key=de1345513d0cf654b8e4b4892fabc16109c74070ac2bf3cfa7869e3cfd4ff832

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7319209/#!po=12.5000

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7258848/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/symptoms-causes/syc-20479963#:~:text=%2D%20Pneumonia%20and%20trouble%20breathing,%2D%20Acute%20kidney%20injury.

https://www.vaildentistry.com/blog/whats-living-in-your-mouthand-whats-it-doing-to-your-heart/

https://hickorydentist.com/caring-for-your-oral-health-while-preventing-covid-19/

https://decisionsindentistry.com/covid-19/

Possible Signs of COVID-19 In the Mouth

August 16th, 2020

There’s a lot to look out for when it comes to COVID-19 and trying to stay safe and healthy. From frequent hand washing, to social distancing, to getting used to wearing a face covering, to recognizing common coronavirus symptoms -the list of things is numerous! Researchers are finding that there may be another COVID-19 symptom to monitor for that can appear in your mouth.

Several recent studies have looked at the presence of oral lesions in individuals with COVID-19. Much of the research remains unclear regarding whether or not the oral symptoms were a result of the coronavirus infection or due to the individual’s other current systemic medical conditions, or because of adverse medication reactions.

In a published study authored by Carreras‐Presas and colleagues, three case reports were presented involving individuals who all developed oral ulcers/blisters and were believed to be infected with COVID-19. Out of the three investigated individuals, one tested positive for COVID-19, while the other two individuals were not tested for COVID-19 due to milder symptoms. Here’s a breakdown of the cases:

  1. The first case was a 56‐year‐old male with no existing medical conditions. He reported experiencing a fever, change in taste, pain at the roof of his mouth (palate), and a sore throat. These lesions resolved after approximately 10 days with treatment. The palate is pictured below:
  2. The second case was a 58‐year‐old male with diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension). He presented with ulcers on his palate and reported no previous history of a herpetic infection. The lesions were healed after approximately 1 week with treatment.
  3. The third case involved a 65‐year‐old female who tested positive for COVID-19 and experienced a high fever, diarrhea, and tongue pain. Her existing medical conditions included obesity and high blood pressure, which she controlled with high blood pressure medications. Shortly after being released from the hospital she developed blisters on the inside of her lip, as pictured below. With a prescribed mouthwash her oral lesions improved after 3 days.

More research needs to be conducted to determine if oral lesions can be considered a sign of COVID-19 infection. Due to the susceptibility of COVID-19 through air droplets, researchers believe that the mouth could possibly be the first place in the body to show signs of infection. The study authors also believe that this data matches other studies that have shown ulcers and blisters to be common lesions associated with other viruses, including hand, foot, and mouth disease, and herpetic gingivostomatitis for instance.

Another research study looked at 21 hospitalized individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 who presented with a skin rash on the outer surface of their bodies. The study was published in JAMA Dermatology and conducted in Spain. Of the 21 individuals, six individuals (29%) also presented with an oral rash, resembling small red spots on the mucosa inside the mouth. These oral lesions appeared approximately two weeks after other COVID-19 symptoms were present, with a reported average of 12.3 days. Of the six individuals, four were women and two were men, and their ages ranged from 40 to 69 years old. On all individuals the oral mucosal spots (also known as an enanthem) were present on the palate. The authors of the study believe that these oral manifestations were most likely linked to the presence of a virus rather than due to a drug reaction because the oral lesions in 5 out of the 6 individuals presented with a petechial pattern. Petechiae, small red-purple spots created by bleeding under the skin, have been found in several other research studies to be associated with viral infections.

If you notice any unusual signs or symptoms occurring within your mouth, or are experiencing any typical COVID-19 symptoms, seek a medical professional immediately.

This pandemic has impacted us all, but our community is indeed all stronger together. Our team at WDG always has your safety and health as our top priority, and we have implemented additional safety measures and equipment to help prevent the transmission of all infections, including COVID-19. Wellesley Dental Group has completely reopened since June 8th, 2020 for all dental procedures and cleanings! Thank you for entrusting your health and dental care to us at Wellesley Dental Group.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/87584

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/odi.13382

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7323044/

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/-/media/images/health/1_-conditions/teeth-and-mouth/oral-herpes-teaser.ashx

COVID-19 and Gum Disease: A Link?

August 16th, 2020

As more research is being done on COVID-19, there has been a new link to gum disease and severe complications from this worrisome virus. Gum disease is caused by bacteria that causes persistent inflammation of the gums and surrounding structures. Gum disease includes an early stage, gingivitis, and a later stage with progression called periodontitis, which is more severe.

COVID-19 is a disease that is caused by the novel coronavirus named SARS-COV-2. This virus causes damage to the lungs and other organs. The Journal of  the California Dental Association has associated inflammation in the gums with the release of inflammatory markers such as IL-6 protein. These proteins cause systemic inflammation as they travel throughout the body. This occurs when fibroblasts within inflamed gingiva produce IL-6, causing an elevation in levels. The elevated levels of IL-6 then leads to bone loss and tissue destruction. Additionally, high levels of IL-6 within the body can hinder oxygen exchange between the blood and lungs.  This can cause severe breathing problems. The latest study from The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that high levels of IL-6 are predictors for respiratory failure. Patients with high levels of IL-6 h are 22 times higher risk for respiratory complications.

So, you’re probably wondering what does this mean for you? Risk factors associated with gum disease include: smoking, diabetes, poor oral hygiene, medication, age, and obesity.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA) warning signs of gum disease are as follows:

  • Gums that are red a bleed easily
  • Gums that have pulled away from teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Consistent bad breath or bad taste in mouth

How to prevent gum disease:

  • Brush twice a day
  • Floss daily
  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings
  • Avoid smoking and or using tobacco products

This pandemic has impacted us all, but our community is indeed all stronger together. Our team at WDG always has your safety and health as our top priority, and we have implemented additional safety measures and equipment to help prevent the transmission of all infections, including COVID-19. Wellesley Dental Group has completely reopened since June 8th, 2020 for all dental procedures and cleanings! Thank you for entrusting your health and dental care to us at Wellesley Dental Group.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://www.dentalproductsreport.com/view/cdc-updates-infection-control-guidelines-for-dental-practices

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7303044/

https://ca.crest.com/en-ca/oral-care-topics/general-oral-hygiene/gum-disease-symptoms-causes-treatments

https://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(20)30685-0/fulltext

https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Publications/Files/for_the_dental_patient_jan_2011.pdf

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8600401/Could-gum-disease-make-coronavirus-deadly.html

Coconut Oil Can Help Fight Tooth Decay

March 14th, 2014

coconut oil
Did you know that coconut oil acts as a natural antibiotic when digested? Did you also know that it kills the bacteria responsible for tooth decay?
It's true! There's also evidence to suggest that the antibiotic part of the oil can be added to oral hygiene products.

Dr. Damien Brady and his team at the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland are responsible for these findings. They set out to see if the natural antibiotic in coconut oil could be used to fight strains of streptococcus bacteria, which is commonly found in the mouth and responsible for tooth decay.

The researchers tested the impact of coconut oil, vegetable oil and olive oil in their natural states and when treated with enzymes, in a process similar to digestion.  The oils were then tested against Streptococcus bacteria which are common inhabitants of the mouth. Only the enzyme-modified coconut oil showed an ability to halted most strains of bacteria from reproducing. It also attacked Streptococcus mutans, an acid-producing bacterium which is a major cause of tooth decay.

Test studies have also found that semi-digested coconut oil kills Candida albicans, a yeast that causes thrush. The scientists think that enzyme-modified coconut oil, meaning in its semi-digested state, could possibly have antimicrobial properties in oral healthcare, specially in hygiene products.

The research gave some insight into the workings of antibacterial activity in the human gut. "Our data suggests that products of human digestion show antimicrobial activity. This could have implications for how bacteria colonise the cells lining the digestive tract and for overall gut health," said Dr Brady.

Dr. Brady said: "Dental caries is a commonly overlooked health problem affecting 60-90% of children and the majority of adults in industrialized countries. Incorporating enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental hygiene products would be an attractive alternative to chemical additives, particularly as it works at relatively low concentrations."

nutiva coconut oil

spectrum coconut oil

barleans coconut oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Drs. Ali & Ali are happy to answer any questions you may have about this exciting new discovery! Or, if you have a different question or concern, don't hesitate to contact us at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

coconut oil uses good

References:
http://www.ait.ie/aboutaitandathlone/newsevents/pressreleases/2012pressreleases/title-16107-en.html
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-19435442
http://www.swansonvitamins.com/en_US/images/ItemImages_SW/images_Xl/BAR033_Xl.jpg
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71SWHpNlPeL._SL1500_.jpg
http://images.iherb.com/l/SPE-11201-1.jpg
http://foodmatters.tv/images/coconut-oil.jpg
http://www.lesliekeegan.com/sites/default/files/coconut-oil1.jpg

Stomach flu (gastroenteritis)? The new norovirus is here...

January 25th, 2013

 

[caption id="attachment_4103" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Image from psu.edu"][/caption]

With the flu season just off its peak, there's a new bug to worry about. The norovirus. A new strain that first showed up in Australia, it will likely affect millions Americans this year. According a the CDC epidemiologist,  "people haven't been exposed to it before, so they're more susceptible" - so make sure to wash your hands frequently with soap and water, as it is the best defense against this bug. Also, the CDC recommends that you disinfect surfaces with a diluted bleach solution, which is made of 5-25 tablespoons of household bleach with one gallon of water. This diluted bleach solution and hand washing  help control this highly contagious bug.

 

 

[caption id="attachment_4104" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="An electron micrograph of the norovirus virus from USA Today."][/caption]

 

How can you differentiate between the flu and the "stomach flu" (or gastroenteritis)? When you are infected by the norovirus, you will experience nausea, severe vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Good news is, most people recover after 1-3 days without any treatment. However, if you feel dehydrated and cannot keep anything down, please consult your physician as you may need some re-hydration with liquids or IV fluids. As with the flu epidemic, the elderly and children under 6 years of age experience the most severe symptoms.

 

For more information, please visit:

CDC

USA Today

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