Covid -19 is primarily a respiratory disease. However, countless people have reported symptoms that go beyond the respiratory system. There is still more to learn about this virus, and the lack of sufficient information makes it difficult to pinpoint symptoms down to COVID.
For example, some people have reported various symptoms affecting their mouth and dental health, relating them to COVID-19. Luckily, studies on the virus and dental health have started to emerge, and experts can finally shed some light on frequently asked questions such as if COVID can cause tooth loss.
Below, we highlight the concluded connection between COVID-19 and dental health to finally put you at ease and let you know what to expect if you contract the virus. So keep scrolling to understand this connection.
What are COVID Teeth?
First thing, have you ever heard of COVID teeth? It is a symptom where you feel pain or pressure on your teeth and jaw due to the effects of COVID-19. People have reported feeling more pain in their teeth and jaw when infected with the virus. But COVID teeth are not a thing.
Yes, you will experience tooth and jaw pain, pressure, or discomfort if you have other symptoms of COVID. But it is often due to clenching your jaw due to stress. Also, if you have symptoms that spread to the sinuses, you may be experiencing sinus pressure which causes discomfort in your teeth and jaw.
Therefore, it is safe to say that tooth and jaw pain is not a specific or unique reported symptom of COVID 19. Even if you did not have the virus, a sinus infection, jaw clenching, and teeth grinding could cause these problems.
Does The Coronavirus Affect Teeth And Gums?
You will be displeased to learn that there is a connection between COVID and your teeth and gums. COVID is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus when it enters the bloodstream through a receptor known as ACE2. The receptor allows the virus to enter the cells. Unfortunately, cells with the most ACE2 receptors are in the mouth, tongue, and gums.
Furthermore, people with bad oral health have more ACE2 receptors, thus linking the virus to oral health. In fact, people with bad dental health tend to have other infections and chronic conditions. Studies on people with poor dental health showed that 75% of those with severe dental distress were admitted with COVID-19.
But, it is not to say that COVID causes poor dental health. There are no significant reports of mouth-related symptoms as part of the COVID-19 virus. Dental pain and mouth infections are not even among the most common systems of COVID.
Instead, it is suggested that people with poor dental health can quickly develop COVID and other diseases due to the infections lowering their immunity and making them less able to fight off infections. Similarly, dental hygiene neglect among COVID-19 patients may be what triggers dental distress in most patients.
Like any other disease, patients need to pay the same or even high levels of attention to dental hygiene. The symptoms of COVID-19 should not discourage patients from paying attention to their dental health as they could easily develop indirect side effects, primarily in the mouth.
What do I do about tooth pain from COVID-19?
If you develop teeth and jaw pain when you have COVID-19, you can take ibuprofen as it manages dental pain better than acetaminophen. You can also use a cold compress on the cheeks to help but never inside the mouth as this can damage your teeth and nerves.
You may develop other infections during this time, so sharing any dental symptoms with your doctor and dentist is important. Also, it is worth noting that it could be more than just sinus pressure and jaw clenching affecting your oral health.
A tooth infection or cavity could be flaring up since your immunity is now low. Therefore, you should call your dentist if over-the-counter pain medications do not work. Avoid treating yourself as you could make the infection worse.
Frequently Asked Questions About COVID And Dental Health
Can COVID make my teeth fall out?
There is no link between COVID and your teeth falling out. It is a respiratory virus, and though it has some links to dental health, it is not this severe or direct. Your teeth can fall out if you have been sick for a long time and neglect your dental health. When your teeth fall out, it is because of poor oral hygiene that triggers infections and tooth decay.
Is bleeding gums a sign of COVID?
Bleeding gums is not recorded as a common symptom of COVID-19. In fact, patients have recorded blood clotting as a side effect of the virus. If you have bleeding gums while infected with COVID, it is likely something else like gum disease. You should see your dentist after recovering from the virus or call the office for advice on managing bleeding gums.
Will I lose my sense of taste from COVID?
Studies have confirmed that losing taste and smell can be early symptoms of COVID-19 infection. Your sense of taste and smell will be less sensitive than usual. You may also notice that foods taste unusual while odors do not smell the same. Doctors advise self-isolating when you develop these symptoms. It could be a respiratory infection like the flu or a cold, but it is always better to be safe.
Is white tongue coating a symptom of COVID?
If you develop a white coating on your tongue, it could be for multiple reasons, including oral thrush. But it is not caused by the COVID-19 virus. The virus only weakens your immune system, making you susceptible to other infections, such as oral thrush. You may also experience other symptoms, such as a sore tongue and cracking on the sides of the mouth. This requires immediate attention, so get help when you are better.
Does COVID cause yellow teeth?
COVID does not cause yellow discoloration on the teeth. Instead, some medications used to treat the virus, such as doxycycline, cause tooth staining. So you should speak to your doctor concerning this if you need to take COVID medication.