Oral Hygiene and the Covid-19 Pandemic

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Oral hygiene does not refer to looking after your teeth alone. It encompasses everything that is present inside your oral cavity including your gums, your tongue, the back of your throat and the insides of your cheek.

There are many factors that can affect the health of your oral cavity broadly classified in to external and internal. The internal ones largely depend on the general health of the person for instance patients suffering from conditions such as diabetes, hormonal imbalances, dry mouth or Sjogrens syndrome, undergoing chemotherapy or radiation, patients on certain medications all fall under this category.

External factors include the patient's habits, diet and oral hygiene awareness:

  • Does the patient smoke?
  • Do they have a habit of drinking excessive tea or coffee or carbonated drinks?
  • Do they consume betel nut?
  • Do they have a high sugar diet?
  • How aware are they of their oral hygiene?
  • Are they brushing at least twice a day?
  • Are they flossing, and using a mouthwash?
  • Are they using good quality toothpaste?
  • How often do they visit a dentist?

As Dr. Steven Grater of Pennsylvania Dental Association has said ‘Your mouth is the entry point of many bacteria, to keep these bacteria from going into your body cleaning, brushing flossing and rinsing is necessary’

Not only is oral hygiene essential for maintaining good aesthetics and minty fresh breath, but it is equally important if not more in contributing to your general health and well-being.

Ever since Covid-19 emerged in Wuhan, China it has spread across the world and become a global pandemic. Due to the fact that it is a relatively new disease, very little is known about it. One aspect, which is widely accepted, is that it is highly contagious and spares no one. It is spread via droplets and aerosols, which exit the oral and nasal cavity when a person coughs or sneezes or even talks. Therefore, it is very important to keep the mouth clean and free form bacterial infections.

Michael Lewis, a professor of oral medicine in Cardiff, says, "Research has demonstrated that poor oral hygiene is an important factor that could influence occurrence of a respiratory infection. This is especially relevant at this time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 is commonly spread by saliva and droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. Toothpastes and mouthwashes contain substances, similar to those in hand sanitizers, that have antiviral actions and could also impact the ability of the Covid-19 to spread which is obviously an additional benefit of a good oral hygiene regimen’.

A clean and healthy mouth may be less prone to viral infections just as it is well known that a healthy body is less prone to get any other infections. To do that it is essential to get rid of as much bacteria as possible while in the mouth before it enters into your body. Toothpastes and mouthwashes can be excellent tools in doing just that.

Fortunately, SprinJene being an all-natural toothpaste is packed with two naturally occurring power ingredients namely, black seed oil and zinc. Thymoquinone present in black seed has been documented in numerous scientific papers for its immense antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Black seed has been used to treat ailments for over 2000 years. Today, it is used for dysentery, constipation, and hemorrhoids and also used for respiratory conditions including asthma, allergies, cough, bronchitis, emphysema, flu’s and congestion. It has also been shown to boost immunity and demonstrates a significantly quicker response. This is especially important since it is the immune system that needs strengthening at this crucial time. Most patients with comorbidities such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases and those fighting cancer are the ones who have shown the worst effects of COVID19 due to weaker immune systems. This is because their immune responses are slow. Younger and otherwise healthy patients display milder symptoms and are able to fight off the virus without any complications. Hence it is imperative that we try to practice measures that boost our immunity.

According to the European Journal of Immunology, the human body needs zinc to activate T lymphocytes

T cells help the body in two ways:

  1. Controlling and regulating immune responses
  2. Attacking infected or cancerous cells

Zinc deficiency can severely impair immune system function.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “zinc-deficient persons experience increased susceptibility to a variety of pathogens.”

Therefore, it can be concluded that maintaining good oral and nasal health by brushing with a good antibacterial toothpaste, gargling and rinsing out the nostrils could contribute towards improved general health and combat the infliction of bacterial and viral infections thereby reducing the viral load in this period of Covid-19 susceptibility.

  

References 

Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT 2017

Anushree Gupta, Times of India, updated May 2020

Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2013 May; 3(5): 337–352.

doi: 10.1016/S2221-1691(13)60075-1

Lynch, Richard. (2011). Zinc in the mouth, its interactions with dental enamel and possible effects on caries; A review of the literature. International dental journal. 61 Suppl 3. 46-54. 10.1111/j.1875-595X.2011.00049.x.

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