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Dry Mouth as an Early Symptom of COVID-19

Dry Mouth as an Early Symptom of COVID-19 Lubricity

Meet the Author: Sara Juliano, RDH

I have been a registered dental hygienist for over a decade. With a passion for oral and systemic health, I have seen clinically the direct impact systemic health can have on oral health. I will be extending my knowledge outside of the dental chair into the world and make an impact on the lives of others. Learn more about Sara, here

As most of you know, your mouth is one of the first lines of defense against foreign pathogens and has one of the most difficult roles in the body. By acting as a blockade against invading microorganisms in the mouth, saliva prevents these foreign microorganisms from migrating systemically in the body. 

In addition, saliva plays a role by lubricating and moisturizing the oral cavity, protecting the mouth from oral diseases. A reduction in saliva production can significantly increase the risk for oral diseases, systemic diseases, and infections.  

Now, no pressure on saliva! 

When a person is experiencing dry mouth symptoms, the barrier of defense is weakened in the oral cavity and may become vulnerable to outside pathogens. In fact, dry mouth may serve as an early indicator or symptom of COVID-19. Since our saliva is the first line of defense against viral infection, sustained and routine oral care is vital for overall health. 

I explain this relationship in-depth in the second episode of the Teeth Chatters Podcast, “The Toxic Bond” Dry Mouth and COVID-19, click here to listen!

Why is Saliva that Important?

Saliva has several essential functions which protects our bodies and helps us to process and digest foods. Some overall benefits of saliva are: 

  • Maintain moisture and lubrication in mouth from low-flow rate (volume produced) 
  • Regulates pH balance to maintain a neutral state to prevent cavity formation (cavities love high acidic environments)  
  • Promotes proper oral clearance of food debris and reduces the time for bacteria to form and create plaque 
  • Has several immune response antibodies 
  • Contains calcium and phosphate ions/particles to maintain enamel strength and re-mineralize weak enamel to a normal strength (helps decrease teeth sensitivity) 
  • Protects oral mucosa and tissues

As you can see, having a healthy salivary flow is essential for overall systemic health. Most viruses that enter the body do so through the oral cavity. When a virus enters the oral cavity, it can produce salivary dysfunction, which will decrease the function of the salivary glands and can induce dry mouth symptoms. 

In the case of the COVID-19 virus, this is where the symptoms of dry mouth and loss of taste come into play. Dry mouth can act as a prodromal effect, or indicator that the COVID-19 virus may be present in the body. This means that dry mouth can be a symptom of coronavirus.

The Link Between COVID-19 and Saliva

The maintenance of good salivary flow is essential for overall systemic health. Saliva contains an enzyme called ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2). This enzyme is found in the epithelial lining of the nasal passages, arteries, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, brain and oral cavity. In the oral cavity, ACE2 receptors are located on the tongue, cheeks and salivary glands. 

The COVID-19 virus binds to these ACE2 receptors via direct salivary contact or airborne spread. The virus is then carried throughout our bodies via tissue migration causing dry mouth, loss of taste and smell, fever, and other COVID-19 symptoms. When the COVID-19 virus attaches to the ACE2 receptors in our oral cavities, our saliva production can decrease which will lead to dry mouth. Saliva helps as a diagnostic medical tool in testing for COVID-19 because of the ACE2 receptors. 

Importance of Saliva When Fighting COVID-19 and its Symptoms

ACE2 receptors are an amino peptide that carry biological information throughout the body via blood and tissues. This typically helps stop viral infection and ensure our blood levels, blood pressure, etc. are at the correct levels. If the COVID-19 virus binds to an ACE2 receptor however, the receptor experiences dysfunction and cannot perform normally, leading to COVID-19 symptoms such as dry mouth.  

ACE2 receptors are present in salivary glands, and have many essential functions such as: 

    • Act as a biochemical pathway to cells that help regulate normal blood pressure levels 
    • Support wound healing 
    • Possess anti-inflammatory properties  
    • Maintain electrolyte and fluid homeostasis

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 virus binds to the ACE2 receptor sites and, when attached, prevents proper function of the receptors. As a result, it will increase the inflammatory response in the salivary glands, creating dysfunction and causing symptoms of dry mouth, loss of taste or altered taste. Some people experience symptoms of a tangy taste, many liken to metal or also known as dysgeusia. To learn more about metallic taste and COVID-19, make sure to check this source, here

The spike-like proteins on the COVID-19 virus attach to the ACE2 receptors, allowing the COVID-19 virus to be transported systemically via tissue migration and blood serum.  When there is a dysfunction in the ACE2 receptors, all normal functions that the receptors provide are altered. This is especially critical for people with high blood pressure and other systemic health issues because it can magnify the disease state. Altered ACE2 receptors create salivary dysfunction and as a result you may experience dry mouth symptoms, general oral discomfort, and loss of taste and smell

Covid-19 and ACE2 Receptor

COVID-19 Dry Mouth Remedies

Tackling your dry mouth symptoms is crucial to not only ensure a better quality of life, but to help maintain your overall health. If you contract COVID-19, the discomfort of dry mouth is a symptom you can offset. Here are some ways you can alleviate your dry mouth symptoms: 

  • Drink Water 
  • Chew sugar-free gum 
  • Avoid coffee and caffeinated beverages 
  • Use a humidifier 
  • Quit smoking 
  • For immediate relief, utilize Lubricity Dry Mouth Oral Spray 

COVID-19, Dry Mouth, and Your Oral Health

Maintaining optimal oral health is crucial. Failing to maintain proper oral health care can significantly impact quality of life and result in malnutrition, burning mouth syndrome, dysgeusia, dysphagia, halitosis, caries, and periodontal disease. Dry mouth needs to be addressed with your dental professional(s). 

Routine check-ups and cleanings are necessary to reduce viral load in the mouth, especially during a pandemic when viral spread is high. Proper plaque removal with daily brushing/flossing as well as an oral rinse with ingredients that possess antimicrobial properties will provide a healthy oral environment and decrease disease causing pathogens.  

Dry mouth allows invading pathogens to adhere to the oral cavity and create destruction and disease in the mouth. Using an oral spray that has antimicrobial properties as well as long lasting moisture enhancement is necessary when suffering from dry mouth.

Researchers have now made saliva a biological marker for diagnostic testing for COVID-19. Crevicular fluid (saliva) represents systemic status for detecting viruses and diseases. The testing is minimally invasive, economically inexpensive and has a 92% positive accuracy rate for COVID-19 results. This is amazing news because saliva/the oral cavity can be an early detection site for the virus. 

It is now more important than ever for people to pay attention to their mouths and the changes it goes through. Be aware of the symptoms of dry mouth as well as loss of taste and smell, which can all be symptoms of COVID-19. Make sure to always maintain good oral health and good systemic health will follow. 

Your mouth truly is a mirror to the rest of your body. 

Lubricity Premium Dry Mouth Spray

Take control of your dry mouth with Lubricity!

The COVID-19 virus can affect ACE2 receptors in your saliva and create dry mouth symptoms. Take control of your dry mouth symptoms today.

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What is Lubricity?

Lubricity is an odorless, flavorless, and colorless spray that is perfect for people who are overly sensitive to taste. Our Dry Mouth Spray also has Zero Calories, NO Gluten, NO Alcohol, NO Sugar, and is Vegan-Friendly! 

Lubricity Dry Mouth Spray has 5 simple ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Xylitol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, and Purified Water. This simple formula is clinically proven to alleviate your dry mouth symptoms for up to 4 hours.

How to use Lubricity?

Lubricity Dry Mouth Spray comes in a convenient 0.5 oz and 2oz spray bottle. Simply point and spray 3-5 times per use. When used as directed, Lubricity provides up to 4 hours of relief from dry mouth symptoms.

For best results, we recommend using Lubricity Dry Mouth Spray as follows: 

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Use Lubricity after a meal and before bed. If needed, Lubricity can be used more than 4 times per day.

*Some may need 3-5 pumps per use, as the bottle needs to be primed upon opening. Relief from symptoms begins immediately. Maximum effectiveness is achieved after 72 hours of continued use.

Important: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please consult your physician before using Lubricity. DO not use Lubricity if you are taking any medications that are contraindicated with the product. Please consult with your physician if you have any concerns regarding the use of this product. Keep out of reach of children.

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