Gum Disease Bacteria Lower Immunity

Covid-19, immunity and gum disease as well as health in general have become factors of concern. Some people exposed to coronavirus, do not get sick. Others only experience minor symptoms. Yet in other people, Covid-19 causes severe illness or even death. The coronavirus is most likely to affect people who already have medical complications. This includes compromised immune systems. So, what does immunity have to do with gum disease?

Gum Disease and the Immune System

To answer the question, you need to understand how the immune system works.

According to a Science Daily article, human bodies contain numerous bacteria. In fact, there is one human cell to every 10 bacteria in the body. In a healthy body, the bacteria populations are in balance. Certain bacteria are harmless and keep harmful bacteria in check. However, when something occurs to imbalance the bacteria populations, disease can develop. Periodontal disease is an example. It is a severe type of gum disease.

Study on Gum Disease and the Immune System

University of Pennsylvania researchers conducted a study on bacteria that cause periodontal disease. They discovered bacteria have double effects on the immune system. The bacteria act on two different molecular pathways to block immune cells. Some harmful bacteria prevent immune cells from killing it. However, bacteria also preserve the cells’ ability to cause inflammation. Inflammation is a characteristic symptom of gum disease. In fact, inflammation breaks down nutrients that feed harmful bacteria. Harmful bacteria don’t act alone. They activate a whole microbial process resulting in gum disease. The non-pathogenic bacteria also help cause the disease by aiding inflammation.

How Are Covid-19, Immunity and Gum Disease Related?

Covid-19 immunity and gum disease has not been studied to the same extent as the regular flu. However, studies exist regarding flu and gum disease. According to MH Life Sciences, people with periodontal disease are more at risk for the flu. In addition, people with chronic periodontal disease may be more likely to develop serious conditions after seasonal flu or H1N1. Conditions include: heart attacks, pneumonia and strokes. For this reason, managing periodontal disease is important.

The CDC has warned people with medical complications to take extra precautions during Covid-19. Your overall health and oral health are related.

Concerned about Gum Disease?

Give us a call at Hutto Hippo Family Dental. We are glad to answer your questions. Our number is (512) 806-7740.