By: Chie Li Ee, DMD & Chrissy Boothroyd
Going to the dentist is never on the top of anyone’s list of things to do, but it should be – especially with the Coronavirus. Many people are putting off dentist appointments during the pandemic because of concerns about infection. Ironically, if you have gum disease, delaying checkups could put you at a greater risk of catching the virus and causing a more severe case of COVID-19. Gum disease, or periodontitis, is characterized by swollen, bleeding gums, and bone loss.
Recent studies have shown that bacteria present in patients with severe COVID-19 are associated with the oral cavity and improving oral hygiene may play a part in reducing the risk of complications. The bacteria that cause periodontal disease may play a role in bacterial superinfections and severe complications, such as pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and sepsis, which often occur after patients are diagnosed with COVID-19. Gum disease produces bacteria that release a harmful protein that can trigger an out-of-control reaction of the immune system known as a cytokine storm. Cytokine storms can lead to blood clots, stroke, organ failure, and death. Gum disease has been linked to other breathing ailments, including pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and has also been linked to respiratory problems with COVID-19. Poor dental hygiene can have serious consequences for your overall health. Frequent brushing and flossing and regular dental visits are essential to prevent periodontal disease.
While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety. Even before the COVID-19 Pandemic, infection control has always been a top priority for our practice, and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it is both safe and comfortable. Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Dr. Chie Li Ee and the staff at Cape May Dental Associates look forward to seeing you soon and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.
Cape May Dental Associates is located at 411 Park Blvd. in Cape May. Please call our office at (609) 884-5335 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ee.