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Sci Rep ; 12(1): 18062, 2022 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2087315


The present study investigated the association between COVID-19 stresses and oral conditions including gingivitis, oral hygiene, oral ulcers, and dry mouth. This was a cross-sectional study that collected data from adults in community settings in Alexandria, Egypt, between October 2021, and February 2022. Gingival condition and oral hygiene were assessed using the gingival and plaque indices. Participants were asked if they experienced oral ulcers during the past week and dry mouth during the past year. COVID-19 fears and coping were assessed using the COVID Stress Scale (CSS), and the Brief Resilience Coping Scale (BRCS), respectively. Oral health behaviors were assessed using the World Health Organization questionnaire. Regression analyses were used to assess the association between the dependent variables (clinically assessed gingival and plaque indices, reported presence of oral ulcers, and dry mouth) and explanatory variables (CSS and BRCS) after adjusting for confounders (COVID-19 status, oral health behaviors, smoking, age in years, sex, and highest educational level). The response rate was 88.8% (373/420). The mean (SD) age = 39.26 (11.45) with 74.3% females and 49.3% reporting completing high school or higher education. The mean (SD) plaque and gingival indices were 1.59 (0.66) and 1.39 (0.59), respectively. Only 20.1% reported the presence of oral ulcers and 41.6% reported xerostomia. Lower plaque score was associated with higher COVID-19 contamination fears (B = - 0.03, 95% CI - 0.05, - 0.02) and higher compulsive checking and reassurance-seeking (B = - 0.02, 95% CI - 0.03, - 0.009). Lower gingival score was associated with higher COVID-19 contamination fears (B = - 0.02, 95% CI - 0.03, - 0.002). Higher odds of reporting dry mouth were associated with greater fear of COVID-19 socioeconomic consequences (AOR = 1.05, 95% CI 1.001, 1.09), and lower coping scores (AOR = 0.93, 95% CI 0.88, 0.99). The findings suggest an association between COVID-19 specific stresses and stress-related oral conditions and shed light on the possible link between mental and oral health, emphasizing the importance of integrated planning of care services.

COVID-19 , Gingivitis , Oral Ulcer , Xerostomia , Adult , Female , Humans , Male , Cross-Sectional Studies , Egypt/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Gingivitis/complications , Adaptation, Psychological