While the virus is much less potent than it used to be, we can still see the effects of COVID-19 in our mouths and teeth.
Dry Mouth and Gum Disease
One of the long-COVID symptoms is a dry mouth. You’ve probably heard that saliva is the first step in digesting your food, and that’s correct, but it has more than one function. Saliva also protects your teeth and gums by washing away food particles. It contains antimicrobial agents that help combat harmful bacteria. You’re more susceptible to gum disease, tooth decay, and other mouth sores without saliva.
When your mouth is dry, the first thing you’ll notice is that it’s extremely uncomfortable. And, regardless of how much water you drink, your mouth still feels dry. Certain medications can cause a dry mouth, but it’s also a symptom of long-COVID—persisting COVID-19 symptoms even after you’ve recovered, sometimes lasting for years.
After some time, you’ll notice that your gums are red and swollen, they bleed when you brush your teeth, your teeth are sensitive, you have bad breath, and you might even have sores such as canker sores in your mouth. These are all signs of developing gum disease known as gingivitis. If left untreated, the bacteria caught under your gumline will fester and begin to decay your teeth and travel to the rest of your body. This is all because of the lack of saliva being around to clean your teeth and fight bacterial infections.
If you experience a dry mouth and symptoms of gum disease, we can help. Make an appointment with your local Manhattan dentist Dr. Karthilde Appolon. Call (212) 557-8668 or make an appointment online.