health

New side effect of long-Covid sees sufferers’ teeth fall out suddenly


NIGHTMARES really do come true.

Tooth loss may be a side effect of previously having Covid-19, according to anecdotal evidence.

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Tooth loss may be a side effect of Covid-19

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Tooth loss may be a side effect of Covid-19Credit: Credit: Otto Pleska / Alamy Stock Photo

People have reported unexpectedly loosing adult teeth after suffering from the disease before.

It suggests dental problems are another problem to add to the list of ‘long Covid’ symptoms.

Fatigue, hair loss, brain fog and muscle pain are just some of the persistent symptoms reported after surviving Covid-19 illness.

Dentists said the virus may irritate the gums through inflammation or damaging blood vessels in the gums.

However, the evidence is too vague to know for sure if tooth loss is just coincidental.

Out of the blue

The New York Times detailed bizarre stories of tooth loss from so-called “long haulers”.

A 43-year-old woman from New York lost a tooth this month after noticing it had been wobbly.

Farah Khemili had suffered with Covid-19 in the spring, although it is not clear if she was formally diagnosed.

It came out without any blood or pain, as did another unnamed woman’s who lost her tooth while eating an ice cream.

But Farah had a history of dental issues, and her dentist told her recently she had bone loss in her mouth from smoking.

Meanwhile, a 12-year-old boy lost an adult tooth completely out the blue this month.

Diana Berrent said her 12-year-old son had lost a tooth nine months after Covid-19

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Diana Berrent said her 12-year-old son had lost a tooth nine months after Covid-19

His mum, Diana Berrent, said her son had Covid-19 nine months ago while warning others to “take Covid seriously”.

Diana said her son had healthy teeth and no underlying disease on a long Covid support page she founded, called Survior Corp.

Various other people have described losing teeth after having the coronavirus on the page, according to the NYT.

Damage to blood vessels

Teeth falling out without any blood loss is unusual, Dr William Li, president and medical director of the Angiogenesis Foundation, a nonprofit that studies the health and disease of blood vessels, said.

He said his team were investigating some of the ‘bewildering’ problems Covid-19 patients are having months after illness.

Dr Li said it’s possible that the virus damages blood vessels that keep the teeth alive, and that’s why there is no pain when it falls out.

What is long Covid? 16 signs you might have it

Around half a million Brits are believed to be suffering with long Covid, according to data from King’s College London.

The condition causes persistent symptoms of the coronavirus or new health issues.

Scientists are still doing research into long Covid to understand who is at risk, and how it can be treated.

Academics at the National Institute for Health Research — headed up by Professor Chris Whitty — have been asked to review the evidence on long Covid, described as this generations polio.

Forty NHS clinics have now been set up across the country to deal with the wave of people needing answers.

So what are the signs to look out for? These are just some listed by patients and doctors:

  1. Hair loss
  2. High temperature
  3. Diarrhoea
  4. Exhaustion
  5. Chest pain
  6. Insomnia
  7. Hallucinations
  8. Covid toes – blisters, bruising and lumps
  9. Chills
  10. Disorientation
  11. Brain fog
  12. Breathing issues
  13. Muscle or body aches
  14. A high heart rate (above 100 beats per minute)
  15. Arrhythmia – a condition when your heart skips beats
  16. Vomiting

Covid-19 is now known as a blood and vascular disease, as well as a respiratory one.

It restricts and damages blood vessels, while also making the blood “stickier”.

This has led to fatal heart attacks and strokes in millions of Covid-19 patients.

It could be that the inflammation caused by the coronavirus irritates the gums, according to Dr Michael Scherer, a prosthodontist in Sonora, California.

People with other inflammatory health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, are known to have a higher risk of gum disease.

“Gum disease is very sensitive to hyper-inflammatory reactions, and Covid long haulers certainly fall into that category,” Dr. Scherer said.

This might aggravate pre-existing gum disease, and therefore indirectly cause tooth loss.

Gum disease is very common, affecting ‘most adults’ in the UK to some degree, according to the NHS.

“Gum disease is very sensitive to hyper-inflammatory reactions, and Covid long haulers certainly fall into that category,” Dr Scherer said.

But tooth loss may be a consequence of dentists being hard to access this year, with lockdowns forcing surgeries to shut.

The British Dental Association (BDA) estimates that 19 million appointments have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The BDA’s scientific adviser, Professor Damien Walmsley, commented: “Long Covid is a debilitating condition, and ongoing symptoms can include breathlessness, chest pain, brain fog and anxiety among others.

“We know that previously fit and healthy people can struggle to do the most basic tasks, such as climbing the stairs.

“It’s likely too that they are not as attentive to their oral hygiene, which would increase their risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.

“It is more important than ever, to clean teeth, twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, before bed and on one other occasion.”

What is long Covid and what are the symptoms?





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