Mike Allen Dental – Coronavirus Advice
Does this rapidly spreading virus have any impact on our oral health?
By the time this blog is posted, there is a possibility that we will be moving to the next stage in the fight against the Coronavirus where large gatherings are banned and some movement restrictions may be in place, perhaps even to the extent that they are in Italy with a total ‘lockdown’.
Information about the virus itself is best left to the experts and we do recommend that our patients follow their advice and ignore some of the fake information that can be seen on social media. However, we are already being asked whether the virus can have a negative impact on our oral health and we will take a look at this in today’s blog by your Burton dental team.
A direct effect?
Firstly, we should say that there is no current information that the virus has any direct impact on our teeth and gums, and as many viruses of this type do, largely attacks the respiratory system. Having said that though, there are a few ways in which it could indirectly have an impact and we will look at those now.
If you are unfortunate enough to get the virus, or any flu like virus, it is almost inevitable that your oral health will suffer temporarily to some degree. Few of us, when we feel really ill, are likely to cook a healthy meal from scratch and may rely instead on quick and easy foods that can be put in the microwave. Whilst many of these ready meals are better quality than they were historically, many do tend to be higher in sugars than a meal we would cook for ourselves. This includes many savoury meals which have a lot higher sugar content than you might expect. Try to keep an eye on this and eat as healthily as you can.
If we are feeling poorly, there is also a good chance that we will reach for foods that elevate our moods such as ‘comfort foods’. For most people these probably include cakes and chocolate which are very high in sugar and the risks to oral health there are well-established.
Finally, if we are unwell, we may be less likely to brush our teeth for as long or as well as we usually do. Flossing may also go out of the window altogether. Above all, whatever you eat, do try to maintain your regular teeth cleaning habits to help keep your teeth healthy during illness.
Although we haven’t reached this stage yet, it could happen. If it does, we may find that there are shortages of some types of foodstuffs due to supply issues. We definitely don’t encourage panic buying but it is worth making sure that you have a reasonable supply of healthy food in. Although we presume that shops will remain open should this occur, isolation could mean that you are eating a less than tooth friendly diet by the end of the ‘isolation’ period which could have consequences for your teeth.
Make sure too that you have enough toothpaste to last for at least a fortnight, just in case.
Your dental appointment
Unless we advise otherwise as things progress, our current advice is to still attend Mike Allen’s Dental Practice for your appointments unless you have the virus or are displaying any undiagnosed symptoms. If you are, please cancel your appointment and contact 111 for further advice. If you are not exhibiting any symptoms, please do attend your check up appointments. Delaying any treatment will nearly always lead to the need for more extensive treatment later on.
We are very thorough in our efforts to prevent any cross infection and the risk of this at our Burton practice is very low. You can read more about this on the ‘Sterilisation and cleanliness’ page of our website.
If you do get the virus, after recovery you should throw away your toothbrush and buy a new one, or change the electric brush head if you use those. It is thought that immunity will build up if we are infected but it is best to be sure though and change your brush to be on the safe side and help avoid re-infection.
If you need to cancel (or book) an appointment or need any other information, please call Mike Allen’s Dental Practice on 01283 845345.Google+