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Poor Oral Care May Affect the Accuracy of COVID-19 Tests
Patients who didn’t brush or rinse their teeth may have allowed noninfectious viral nucleic acid to build up, resulting in prolonged viral shedding. On average, those who didn’t keep their oral cavities clean continued to shed the virus for an additional two weeks and resulted in more positive real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, the authors wrote.
Evidence has shown that oral bacteria may play a role in infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension -- the four main comorbidities associated with increased risks of complications and death from COVID-19 -- are linked with altered oral biofilms and periodontal disease. These links are also part of the reason dentists are using preprocedural rinses to reduce the viral load in the patient's mouth. Therefore, a possible connection between poor oral health or a lack of attention to oral care and the novel coronavirus isn't surprising.