Simple oral hygiene measures could reduce the risk of transmitting the new coronavirus from the mouth to the lungs and prevent serious cases of COVID-19, according to the study. Research published in the Journal of Oral Medicine and Dental Research shows that there is new evidence that specific ingredients of some cheap and widely available mouthwashes are very effective in inactivating the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.
Researchers have noticed that the coronavirus can pass into people’s lungs from saliva, and the virus travels directly from the mouth into the bloodstream – especially if individuals suffer from gum disease.
Evidence shows that the blood vessels of the lungs, rather than the airways, were initially affected by COVID-19 lung disease with high concentrations of virus in saliva and periodontitis associated with an increased risk of death.
Researchers suggest that the accumulation of dental plaque and periodontal inflammation further increase the likelihood that the SARS-CoV-2 virus will reach the lungs and cause more severe cases of infection.
Experts say the discovery could make effective oral health care a potentially life-saving action – recommending that the public take simple but effective daily steps to maintain oral hygiene and reduce factors that contribute to gum disease, such as plaque buildup.
The first observations of CT of the lungs in patients suffering from COVID-19 lung disease led to the collaboration of medical and dental researchers on the potential route of entry into the bloodstream.
“This model can help us understand why some people develop COVID-19 lung disease and others do not,” said study co-author Iain Chapple, a professor at the University of Birmingham in the UK.
“It could also change the way we manage the virus – by researching cheap or even free oral treatments and, ultimately, saving lives,” Chapple said.
Researchers have noticed that gum disease makes gums more permeable, allowing microorganisms to enter the bloodstream.
Simple measures – such as careful brushing and interdental brushing to reduce plaque buildup, along with certain mouthwashes or even salt water rinses to reduce gingival inflammation – can help reduce the concentration of the virus in saliva.
According to researchers, this can also alleviate the development of lung diseases and reduce the risk of worsening to severe COVID-19.
The new model is based on mouths that provide fertile ground for the virus to progress, with any violation of the oral immune defense that makes it easier for the virus to enter the bloodstream.
Moving from the blood vessels in the gums, the virus would pass through the jugular and thoracic veins – reaching the heart before being pumped into the pulmonary arteries and small vessels in the pulmonary base and periphery, the researchers said.
“Studies are urgently needed to further investigate this new model, but in the meantime, daily oral hygiene and plaque control will not only improve oral health and well-being, but could also be a lifeline in the context of a pandemic,” Chapple added.
This story was published from the wire agency feed without changes in the text. Only the title has changed.