COVID-19 and Periodontal Disease-The Link
COVID-19 is a pandemic and a global emergency declared by World Health Organization (WHO) in the year 2020. It leads to a life threatening pneumonia and severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). It has been found that the virus causes development of a hyperinflammatory state characterised by a release of a variety of chemical mediators. This is responsible for cardiomyopathy, disseminated blood clots, stroke, neurologic problems, thrombosis and multiorgan failure of heart, kidney and brain. Patient related factors such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, aging etc. are suggested to increase the risk of COVID-19 complications. Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the tooth supporting structures characterised by clinical attachment loss and bone loss which is caused by microorganisms in dental plaque. It is also characterised by release of several chemical mediators as a result of the interaction between periodontal pathogens and the individual host response that becomes dysregulated. Periodontal disease is also related to other systemic disorders such as cardiovascular disease, endocrine disorders, respiratory diseases etc. through the release of periodontal pathogens and chemical mediators via the bloodstream that reach distant sites in the body. Therefore periodontitis patients may present as a high risk group for SARS-Cov-2 infection. The purpose of this article is to highlight the link between periodontal health and risk of COVID-19 and to suggest the possibility of periodontal disease as a risk factor for COVID-19 so that patient education programs and treatment strategies can be developed.