What dental professionals need to understand about respiratory infections

What do dentistry and dental professionals have to do with respiratory infections? As it turns out, a lot, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic.



What do dentistry and dental professionals have to do with respiratory infections? As it turns out, a lot, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic.


Consolidating wisdom from medical professionals of different fields provides a more holistic understanding of people’s health. The dental hygiene and nursing fields have already joined together to assess the human airways—tongue, throat, and nasal passageways—and how they affect sleep quality.1 In today’s COVID-19 environment, however, we now have a more pressing topic: respiration, or the essential uptake of oxygen and expulsion of carbon dioxide by the body.


Overview of the respiratory system

As you know, the respiratory system, which consists of the lungs, airways, and diaphragm, allows the inhalation and exhalation of breaths when the diaphragm contracts or expands. This increases or decreases the space in the chest cavity to allow for air to flow into or be pushed out of the airways.3 Dental work occurs close to the airways, and the dental environment’s processes and setups can contribute to respiratory diseases. Therefore, even if we are not working in hospital settings, all dental professionals need to be adequately informed about this topic so that we can play our part in tackling respiratory infections.


Types of respiratory diseases?