Although it was previously established that the SARS-CoV-2 spreads via droplets of oral fluids, new evidence has revealed that the virus causes far more damage in the mouth than initially determined. This is the reason why some patients with COVID-19 are known to experience loss of taste, blistering in the mouth, and a dry mouth in many cases. According to the American Dental Association, the research has also found that saliva is infectious and that the mouth could be playing a role in transmitting the virus into other parts of the body.
Speaking of the link between Covid-19 and the mouth, Kevin M. Byrd, a lead researcher of the study said: “After months of collaboration, our study shows that the mouth is a route of infection as well as an incubator for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.” Byrd noted that this work will lay the foundation for future studies that will attempt to understand why people are losing their sense of taste or suffering from a dry mouth when infected with the virus, why some are displaying the effects over six months after being infected, and how doctors can alter treatment strategies to help them fully recover.
Up until the results of the study were released, not much was known about the role our mouth played in the spread of the virus. But, we now know that the upper and lower airways in the lungs form the epicenter for the virus, and that saliva seems to carry the virus from the mouth to the innermost organs of our body. Dr. Blake Warner, chief of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research's Salivary Disorders Unit, said: “Based on data from our laboratories, we suspected at least some of the virus in saliva could be coming from infected tissues in the mouth itself.”
The study only reiterates that people should continue to wear masks until we are completely out of the gridlock. We should also avoid touching our mouth and nose repeatedly. In addition, we need to maintain our daily oral routine and refrain from sharing toothbrushes or storing brushes in the same container. Another lesson to learn from this is that everyone should change their toothbrush after they have recovered from a Covid-19 infection.
Want to learn more about the effects of Covid-19 on the mouth? Call Wellness Centered Dentistry at (425) 882-1354; we are happy to help.
16150 NE 85th St #115
Wellness Centered Dentistry: Raymond Hsu, DDS, MAGD, LLSR
16150 NE 85th St #115
Tel: (425) 882-1354
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