You’ve probably heard that COVID19 can make patients lose their sense of taste and smell. Hopefully, you haven’t experienced that yourself. Let’s consider other oral problems connected to COVID-19.
Dry Mouth is as Common as Loss of Taste
A cohort of Brazilian scientists led by University of Brasilia researcher E.N.S. Guerra analyzed more than 180 studies of COVID patients and found that 43% of patients experience dry mouth. That’s slightly higher than the percentage that reported loss of taste. The 43% of patients that experienced oral health issues amounted to 65,000 individuals.
Loss of Taste Comes in Many Flavors
The research also found that patients with COVID can have a decreased sense of taste (hypogueusia); a distorted sense of taste, in which everything tastes sweet, sour, bitter or metallic (dysgeusia); or a full loss of all taste (ageusia).
Researchers also learned that these conditions seemed to be more common among European COVID patients. However, only a third of U.S. patients and a quarter of Latin American patients reported them. The scientists couldn’t determine the cause of the disparity, but further research may provide clues.
Lesions and sores on or under the tongue were also reported.
“Regarding COVID-19 patients specifically, the important message is to maintain healthy oral health habits during their illness if they are able to do so. Dry mouth significantly increases the risk for tooth decay, so brushing twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste, flossing once a day, limiting snacking, and avoiding sugary foods and drinks are the best ways to maintain their oral health.” Dr. Edmond Hewlett, a spokesman for the American Dental Association who reviewed the research.
It’s Time to Get Your Dental Health Back on Track
Have you stayed away from the dentist due to the pandemic? Did you know that poor oral health puts you at greater risk of health complications from a wide range of diseases, including the coronavirus? We invite you to schedule a cleaning and examination. You can rest assured that we follow rigorous safety protocols to protect our patients and staff.