According to one study, people who were infected with Covid-19 had poor oral health. According to a recent study conducted by the department of dentistry at ESIC Medical College in Hyderabad, poor oral health hygiene was significantly associated with the pandemic. The study, which lasted from August 2020 to February 2021, discovered that gum bleeding and plaque were more common in people who had Covid. Dr. Namrata Rupani, founder and CEO of Capture Life Dental Care, discusses the importance of oral health awareness and the disruptions caused by lockdown and Covid 19 cases.
Q. How has the pandemic’s impact on oral health been felt in the last 18 months?
A. Safeguarding one’s oral health is now more than just a priority. What the pandemic taught the world about immunity also applies to dental health. Severely transforming the oral health landscape, the pandemic has had far reaching dental implications. This period has been sensitive for people’s oral health. There has also been limited access to dental practitioners and fear of infections aggravated the problem for many.
Q. How are oral health and severity of Covid-19 related?
Oral health plays a major role but is the most neglected. The need to brush twice a day, flossing and thoroughly rinsing the mouth on a daily basis in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums. It is also important to ensure a healthy PH balance in the mouth region. These routines help maintain good oral health. What we realised in Covid-19 patients was bad oral health compromised their situation further leading to their deterioration. Studies across the world are highlighting a strong oral health defence system which will help in increasing the overall immunity.
Q. Which age group neglects dental health?
A. Dental neglect is common amongst many preteens, teens, and students. This age group is usually not well aware of dental hygiene and typically neglects oral care to a huge extent which affects them afterwards. Women in their pre-menopause, menopause and postmenopause stage also need to take care of their teeth and gums. Calcium deficiency in them during these stages leads to complications. It has been noted that regardless of age and gender, it is the socio-demographic variables which significantly influence oral health attitude and behaviour.
Oral care requires mental and emotional preparedness. Counselling is an extremely important part of dental practice as it involves motivating patients by making them aware of the benefits of good oral hygiene. In a human body, all aspects of health are interrelated and it requires constructive influence to embrace dental care as a part of overall health.
Q. What are the challenges noted in people for dental care?
A. One of the major challenges is lack of access to routine oral care in a significant number of the population. This has resulted in a wide variety of oral diseases among the general public. Another problem is the lack of initiative in people to approach professionals for their long pending dental problems. There is a need to prioritise oral care by creating awareness on its role on the overall well-being of the body.