Designing a Study to Investigate Gum Disease Associated Inflammation in SARS-CoV-2 Infection

September 21, 2020

Dr. Shervin Molayem, DDS, continues our discussion on his recent paper The Mouth-COVID Connection: Il-6 Levels in Periodontal Disease — Potential Role in COVID-19-Related Respiratory Complications.

Can gum disease worsen the severity of COVID-19? According to a recent paper published in the Journal of the California Dental Association, the answer may lie in an inflammatory marker known as Interleukin (IL) -6.

The lead author of the paper was Dr. Shervin Molayem.

Molayem is a periodontist who graduated from UCLA School of Dentistry. Shervin also completed a 3-year specialty program for periodontics, dental implants and reconstructive surgery at USC School of Dentistry.

He went on to become the founder of both the UCLA and USC Journals of Dental Research, and has conducted extensive research in the field of dental implants.

In this discussion with Contagion, Molayem outlines the possible connection between oral health, IL-6, and the severity of COVID-19 infections.

The study proposes that because of the inflammation involved in gum disease, poor oral hygiene could make one more likely to suffer complications from coronavirus infection.

In this second half of the discussion, Molayem explains how the theory can concretely be tested at the point of care with coronavirus patients.