How to prevent Oral Transmission of COVID-19
One year after the first lock-down dentists around the world had to confront the consequences of the destructive effects of COVID-19 on people’s oral health, at a higher risk of tooth decay, advanced gum diseases, and even periodontal diseases.
For months, reports have been buzzing in from all corners of the world, about new symptoms of COVID-19, that were followed by COVID-Toes, skin rashes, and loss of taste and smell, and which were later known as official symptom of the virus. Now there is also a new symptom called COVID-Tongue.
The COVID-19 virus is transmitted or spread via SARS-CoV-2 the virus that is responsible for causing COVID-19, primarily among people who are within 6 feet of one another, it is spread through droplets produced by the respiratory System when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
While, Airborne viral transmission from person-to-person over long distances is Less likely to happen.
However, COVID-19 is a new disease, and studies are still underway on how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes. The virus has been shown to persist in aerosols for hours, and on some surfaces for a few days under enclosed laboratory conditions. SARS-CoV-2 can also be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
Risks That Dentists Have to Face During COVID-19:
The main risk factor here is that the practice of dentistry involves the use of dental and surgical instruments, such as hand-pieces or ultrasonic-scalers and dental-syringes. It is possible that while working with these instruments a visible spray that contains particle droplets of water, saliva, blood, and microorganisms, may be produced, which can increase the risk of infection. While, surgical masks may provide some amount of protection and protect the nose & mouth from the air-bound droplets that may contain the virus, they do not provide complete protection against inhalation of infectious agents.
However, there is no proper information that is available at present to assess the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission during dental practice.
Oral Care & Study on use of Mouthwash:
A Significant Number of COVID-19 patients are experiencing bumps on their tongue, along with inflammation and swelling, on further inspection it was found that more than 45% of the patients had been experiencing some form of symptoms of having oral problems.
On the other hand American Researchers at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine have found evidence that two types of mouthwash liquids disrupt the COVID-19 virus, after preventing it from replicating in a human cell under laboratory conditions.
Their study, which was published in the Journal of Pathogens found out that Listerine and the prescription mouthwash containing Chlorhexidine disrupted the virus within seconds after being diluted in concentrations that would mimic actual use. Although further studies on this aspect would be needed to test real-life efficacy in humans.
Their study also found two other types of mouthwashes that showed some amount of potential in providing some protection for preventing viral transmission, Betadine, which contains povidone-iodine, and Peroxil, which contains hydrogen peroxide. However, only Listerine and Chlorhexidine were found to have disrupted the virus with little impact on skin cells inside the mouth that provide a protective barrier against the virus.
While It is yet to be understood, whether rinsing two or three times a day with an antiseptic agent with active anti-viral property would have the potential to reduce the ability to transmit the disease.
There was a study that was conducted by a team of scientists and virologists at the Public Health Research institute Which has shown various types of antiseptic mouthwashes that can disrupt the novel coronavirus and temporarily prevent transmission, and this was one of the first studies that examined various antiseptic rinse concentrations, at the time of contact, and the skin-cell killing properties that simulated similar oral conditions.
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