Teething Problems of Covid-19 Leave Doctors Worried

In what may be one of the strangest post-Covid signs witnessed yet, doctors are seeing patients report problems of weakening gums and enamel loss,

Teething Problems of Covid-19 Leave Doctors Worried

 It is evidently clear that the novel coronavirus is no ordinary viral infection. From the lungs, eyes, immunity to the skin, the virus can impact you in many different ways and unload a host of problems. 

In what may be one of the strangest post-Covid signs witnessed yet, doctors are seeing patients report problems of weakening gums and enamel loss, which may be one of the newest alarming consequences of the infection observed so far.

Can COVID-19 damage your teeth? Here's what survivors are saying

No two people report having similar COVID symptoms. Now, globally, a lot of patients are reporting problems of weakened gums, tooth loss and dental infections after recovering from a bout of COVID-19.

Some are also reporting losing out a tooth due to decay. People are also saying that they have suffered from tooth discolouration, break and gum weakening.

What could be causing it?

Evidence suggests that the virus can disrupt vital blood flow in the body, causing a number of clots, and patchy blood flow. This, in turn, causes problems in the transportation of blood flow and nutrients to various vital organs in the body. This, in turn, could be a possible theory, as to how the virus causes so much damage and weakens the foundation of our oral cavities, leading to tooth decay, gum weakening, bleeding as well.

 Could cytokine storms be causing oral health problems?

 The infamous cytokine storm associated with COVID-19, which causes the body's immune system to turn on itself could also be a reason behind such a lingering COVID-19 symptom.

Scientists and medical authorities have also suggested that another reason for such impactful damage to the mouth and oral cavities could primarily impact people who have a higher viral load present in their mouth and nasal cavities. 

Dental damage could affect kids too

 What is more interesting is that kids, who have been largely spared from the after-effects, or serious side-effects of the infection are also witnessing dental problems. According to survivors who have recorded post COVID-19 symptoms online, kids, too, are suffering from gum infections, decay, tooth loss, loosening of other teeth and sizable vasculature damage from the infection.

Here's why this is a concerning sign

 The risk of lasting problems and side-effects outranks those already suffering from problems such as high uncontrolled sugar, blood pressure, cancer, immunodeficiency, which leaves them more vulnerable to damage.

Yet another risk factor for dental decay caused by COVID-19 could be underlying dental problems. The poor attention dental health has gotten during the pandemic could also be making problems worse for people with COVID-19.

 What steps can you take for better dental care?

 In the past, unrecognized or untreated dental problems have been linked to potentially threatening diseases like heart attacks. Nonetheless, the emergence of dental problems is another way we may be underplaying the risk associated with COVID-19.

Hence, even though it might just be a tiny clue in the whole list of side-effects and symptoms to have emerged with COVID-19 infection, it needs a lot more research before we reach a conclusion. Yet, it is definitely an alarming sign.

Practising preventive care, following good dental hygiene can root away threatening signs. A good diet also plays an impactful role in post COVID care.

Remember, it's a new disease and not everybody who gets COVID-19 will suffer from the same set of problems. Yet, we must keep our guards up and prevent the virus from impacting our bodies in such a terrifying and menacing manner.

(Dr Riddhi Katara is a Celebrity Cosmetic Dentist and the founder of Experteeth Dental Care Clinic, located in Bandra West, Mumbai. Views expressed are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of Outlook Magazine)