Coronavirus has given us multiple reasons to worry about. The disease itself is life-threatening and the post-recovery effects are also worrisome. Now in news is the sudden surge in cases of black fungus and mucormycosis. This has affected many people around the country and has even been declared as an epidemic in few states. Black fungus or mucormycosisis a fungal disease which attacks people with low immunity and pre-existing health conditions. Since it is a fungal infection, it is important to understand the role of oral hygiene to prevent yourself from this infection.
What Causes Black Fungus or Mucormycosis?
As per observations, patients who are being treated at hospitals for a considerably long time have more chances of catching this infection. For COVID recovery, patients are given medical steroids and are kept on oxygen ventilators. This makes their immune system weak, and humidifier increases the risk of exposure to moisture, leading to quick spread of black fungus. Overuse of steroids, voriconazole therapy and uncontrolled diabetes can increase the risk of black fungus infection or mucormycosis.
Why Is Oral Hygiene Important for Preventing Black Fungus?
Black fungus spreads to oral tissues, tongue, gums, nose etc. It causes severe pain and swelling on face, eyes, headaches and fever which can gradually result in severe health disorder. In order to prevent this condition, taking care of oral hygiene becomes important. Dr. Nitya Gupta, B.D.S working as General Dentist at Elite Dental Care Clinic, Noida tells the importance of oral health during spread fungus. She says that even though black fungus is not directly linked towards mouth, it does affect your oral health in many possible ways.
Black fungus affects your gums and tongue whichleads to discolouration. It can create swelling in your gums and result in infection. Through the mouth, it can spread to your lungs and other internal body parts. This can make the patients’ condition worse and black fungus can then turn fatal. Therefore keep your oral hygiene in check and follow these tips to prevent spread of black fungus infection in your mouth.
Tips For Oral Health To Prevent Black Fungus
1. Brush Wisely: Brush two times in a day, in the morning and then before going to bed.Brushing before going to bed helps in getting rid of the germs and plague that accumulate throughout the day. In the morning it is equally important to brush to remove calculus build-up.
2. Keep your mouth clean: Rinse your mouth after every meal with water. This does not let food particles stick around in the mouth which can lead to gum problems on a long term.
3. Gargle Regularly: Gargle with betadine atleast twice in a day for 30 seconds to prevent bacteria growth in the mouth. Betadine is an antiseptic liquid mouthwash that can prevent bacteria and germs causing infection and giving space for black fungus to accumulate.
4. Change your brush and tongue cleaner: After recovering from COVID-19, discard the brush you were using at that time and go for a new one. After COVID recovery, one must not use the same brush or tongue cleaner as it can again cause infection and invite black fungus.
5. Keep your brush and tongue cleaner separate: Do not mix them with your family or anyone else.If you have had COVID or showing symptoms of black fungus, it can increase the chances of infecting the other people in your family too. It is better to keep your brush and tongue cleaner in a separate washroom or far apart from other’s oral care products.
6. Disinfect Your Oral Health Tools: Disinfect your tongue cleaner after every use or once in a day to avoid any kind of infection. Disinfecting prevents bacteria and germs to stick around the surface of the tongue cleaner which can cause fungal infection.
7. Floss Regularly: Avoid food that sticks up to your tooth and use oral floss to clean your teeth. As preventive measure avoid food that is sticky and can get stuck in your teeth. Even if you have something of that sort, use a floss to clean your tooth to prevent growth of bacteria on tooth or gums around it.
8. Consult a doctor: If you find discoloration of gums or any oral tissues, immediately get on a call and consult a doctor. This is time to be extra cautious and opt to consult a doctor if symptoms of black fungus or mucormycosis start to surface. The doctor, looking at the symptoms, may suggest a few tests and medication as per cases to case.
Mucormycosis is a fungal infection which can turn severe and hamper the health of the person adversely. Black fungus spreads through nose and spreads to mouth, lungs and then to the brain. It can cause discomfort, swelling below the eyes, headaches, fever and discoloration of oral issues. To prevent this one must take care of his/her oral health in a precise manner. Especially those who have just recovered from COVID-19, must be careful while cleaning their mouth and keeping a regular check on their oral health. Tips are given for taking care of oral health after recovering from COVID. Follow these tips to prevent black fungus from affecting your health.
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