People suffering from gum disease are said to be nine times more likely to die of COVID-19, a study reveals.

Those who do not take pleasure in taking care of their oral health may find themselves in more trouble the moment that they contract COVID-19. Recent research has shown the worrisome relationship between gum disease and COVID-19.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology looked into the association between periodontitis and the severity of COVID-19 infection. The study found that those who are suffering from gum disease are 3.5 times more likely to end up in intensive care. They are also 4.5 times also more likely to require a ventilator.

Researchers explained that patients with gum disease showed higher blood markers that indicate inflammation in the body. It must be noted that one of the complications seen among coronavirus patients who have serious illnesses is inflammation.

The study was conducted among 568 patients who were diagnosed with the disease between February and July 2020. Among the patients in Qatar who were part of the study, there were 40 who suffered from complications. These included being put on a ventilator, being admitted to the ICU, and worse, death. The remaining 528 did not suffer from the same serious complications.

Aside from gum disease, other factors that were also taken into consideration during the study were heart disease, asthma, body mass index, blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking. The possibility of death among patients with gum disease was found at 8.81 times higher as compared to others. The chance of ending up placed on a ventilator was 3.54 and 4.57 higher as well.

"The results of the study suggest that the inflammation in the oral cavity may open the door to the coronavirus becoming more violent," said Professor Lior Shapira, European Federation of Periodontology president-elect and one of the co-authors of the study in FoxNews.

Gum Disease and COVID-19
Gum disease and COVID-19 Photo: Pixabay

"Oral care should be part of the health recommendations to reduce the risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes," explained Shapira further.

Professor Mariano Sanz of Computense University of Madrid, who was one of the study authors said that patients who have gum disease may inhale oral bacteria. This can then infect the lungs. Since SARS-CoV-2 is known to destroy the lungs, the inhaled oral bacteria that gets to the lungs may contribute to the deterioration of the patient with coronavirus.