Tooth loss could be a symptom of long COVID, experts suggest

Tooth loss could be a new side effect of long COVID, dentists have warnedTooth loss could be a new side effect of long COVID, dentists have warned. 

It has emerged that coronavirus may irritate the gums through inflammation – causing patients to suddenly lose teeth.

This comes as patients continue to report symptoms of ‘long COVID’, a term used to refer to those suffering from prolonged effects.

Common symptoms include fatigue, breathlessness and muscle aches and pains.

Long COVID recovery

According to a report by the New York Times, patients who already have dental difficulties and test positive for COVID-19 may see them exacerbated by the virus.

For example, one patient reports losing a tooth after contracting the virus, alongside other symptoms such as muscle aches.

After reaching out online, she came across a number of others who had experienced similar problems after testing positive. This included sensitive gums and chipped teeth.

Dr David Okano, a Utah-based periodontist, said dental problems may worsen as a result of COVID-19. This is particularly likely during recovery from acute infections.

Additionally, research has revealed that fewer people are adhering to the same personal hygiene routines they followed before the pandemic.

Drop in good oral hygiene

Oral-B analysed the effect of coronavirus on the public’s oral health habits.

Almost one quarter of UK adults are no longer brushing their teeth twice a day. And 11% admit there are now days where they do not brush their teeth at all.

Similarly, an additional 18% report suffering from bad breath or ‘furry-feeling teeth’.

As a result, this suggests that a lack of attention to oral hygiene would increase the chance of gum disease and decay.

This comes as the British Dental Association (BDA) estimates that around 19 million dental appointments have been missed as a consequence of the pandemic.


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