Oral Health and COVID-19: A Two-Way Relationship!
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 coronaviruses that spread from person to person through droplets or through contact with contaminated surfaces. It can have a significant effect on oral health, while oral health can also affect a patient’s susceptibility to the virus.
A two-way relationship effect of COVID-19 treatment on oral health
Even patients recovering from COVID-19, they may experience oral health issues such as ulcers, xerostomia, stomatitis, and oral thrush. Some of these issues may be side effects of medication taken during COVID-19 infection.
Patients with severe COVID symptoms may receive interferon-beta, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, OT Remdesivir. The use of lopinavir and ronovavir may decrease viral load, severity, and adverse clinical outcomes, and even potentially reduce mortality in patients with SARS. Interferon-alpha and beta can also reduce the severity of COVID-19 by reducing respiratory disease. Broad-spectrum antibiotics are also used in critically ill COVID-19 patients.
Since there are very little data regarding COVID-19’s relationship with oral health, it is believed that the common side effects of these drugs persist in patients even after recovering from COVID-19 infection.
Corticosteroids are not advised to be used during COVID-19 treatment, therefore requiring conditions such as pemphigoid, pemphigus, and lichen planus that require continued administration.
Conversely, tocilizumab (atlizumab), which targets the IL-6 receptor in the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, cytokine release syndrome, and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, has recently been shown to be severe COVID. -19 was approved for the treatment of infections associated with lung damage due to high levels of IL-6.
Oral health can also deteriorate for critically ill and hospitalized patients because lifetime procedures, including intubation, external ventilation, and tracheostomy, are more important at that time. Also, it has been reported that SARS-CoV-2 has certain neurotropic and mycotrophic abilities that can affect salivary gland function, oral mucosa, and taste and odor.
Thus, acute and severe COVID-19 infection and its pharmacological therapy can lead to xerostomia and opportunistic fungal infections as a result of hyposalivation, oral ulcers, and reduced immunity due to gum disease. Therefore, good oral care is recommended after hospitalization and in a home environment.
The overall relationship between COVID-19 and oral health seems unclear, although research on this has so far been lacking. Experimental treatment protocols for curing infection seem beneficial, although they demonstrate some side effects. Development of the vaccine would be the best approach to improve COVID-19 rates and its effect on oral health.