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Prevalence of Oral Health Issues and Its Associated Risk Factors Among Post-COVID Patients in Kannur, Kerala: A Cross-Sectional Study
1Department of Community Medicine and Public Health, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Centre, Kochi, Kerala, India
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Background: The novel coronavirus has affected over 6.9 million people in over 200 nations in the world. As of May 2022, according to World Health Organization, India reported 43,107,689 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). An Egyptian study reported 67.2% with oral manifestations where dry mouth was 39.7%, gustatory dysfunction as 34.5% loss of salt sensation, 29.3% loss of sweet sensation, and 25.9% altered food taste. The objective of this study was to estimate prevalence of oral health issues and associated factors among persons who had been diagnosed COVID positive in Kerala.
Methods: In the cross-sectional study conducted among 63 post-COVID patients in Kannur district in Kerala, data was collected through online survey with semi-structured questionnaires.
Results: Mean age of study participants was 43.96 ± 16.78 years. About three-fourth, 74.6% (95% confidence interval: 63.9, 85.3), of study participants suffered oral health issues. Most common oral health issues reported were dry mouth 37 (58.7%), altered taste sensation in 35 (55.6%), and teeth sensitivity among 32 (50.8%). Ayurvedic medications for COVID-19 (P value: .014), oral hygiene habits (P value: .001), irregular dental consultation (P value: .04), and treatment (P value: .033) were factors significantly associated with oral health issues.
Conclusion: Our study reveals that post-COVID patients are a group which require better oral care and hence early diagnosis is encouraged to recognize and treat oral manifestations in them.
COVID-19, dry mouth, altered taste, teeth sensitivity