Dentures May Harbor More Bacteria During COVID-19

By Reuters Staff

May 27, 2021

(Reuters) - Denture wearers infected with the new coronavirus may be more likely to harbor bacteria that increase their risk for additional infections on top of COVID-19, a small study suggests.

Researchers analyzed removable dentures from 30 patients with COVID-19 and 30 healthy individuals. Swabbing the surface of the dentures yielded Streptococcus species in 93.3% of COVID-19 patients versus 40% of healthy volunteers, and Klebsiella pneumonia bacteria in 46.7% of COVID-19 patients versus 13.4% of the other group.

All of these microorganisms are seen as potentially important causes of additional bacterial infections in hospitalized COVID-19 patients that could lead to or worsen problems such as respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia, the researchers reported in The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry.

They recommend that dental prostheses in COVID-19 patients be tested and that appropriate medications be used to prevent invasive infections in vulnerable individuals.

SOURCE: The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, online May 21, 2021.