Welcome sunshine and outdoor activities! I hope everyone is enjoying the weather!
Today’s newsletter discusses COVIDs influence on the oral cavity. We have all seen mask mouth, dry mouth and the changes in taste. However, there are more concerning aspects to COVID-19s influence on the oral tissues.
Data has suggested that COVID-19 has created iatrogenic lesions caused by intubation and opportunistic lesions from damaging the tissues. Yet, in our offices we find hairy tongue, geographic tongue, greasy tongue surfaces, blistering of the tissues, apthous ulcers, petechia, dry mouth, changes in taste, reactivation of the herpes simplex virus (HSV1), and desquamative gingivitis. The prominent locations for mucosal lesions are the tongue, palate and labial mucosa. Mouth sores can appear as early as two days before any other COVID-19 symptoms reveal themselves, or as late as three weeks afterward. These lesions can make speaking, eating and even swallowing difficult for some patients.
Studies have also shown that saliva can be a reservoir for the virus and that this increases oral inflammation.
Rutgers University posted a study that found two mouthwashes provide some protection in preventing viral transmission. Betadine, which contains Povidine-iodine, and Peroxyal which contains hydrogen peroxide. However, only Listerine and Chlorhexidine disrupted the virus with little impact on skin cells inside the mouth that provide a protective barrier against the virus. Both Betadine and peroxyl caused significant cell death.
Pre-rinsing with Listerine for 30 seconds prior to any dental work will minimize the viral load. If mouth sores are present, then use the non-alcohol option.
In treating COVID-19 mouth sores avoid acidic foods and drinks, rinse several times a day with warm salty water and avoid alcohol consumption.
The color of your toothpaste apparently matters. More people prefer blue toothpaste over red toothpaste.
A woman smiles, on average, 68 times per day. Meanwhile, a man smiles, on average, 8 times per day.
Your smile is a strong point of attraction. 61% of adults admit that they are attracted to somebody’s smile alone.
ENJOY YOUR SUMMER!
Dr. Nancy A. Barnett and staff