New research published in Journal of Oral Medicine and Dental Research found that gum disease, along with high concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 in saliva, increased mortality risk for COVID-19 patients.

This current study reports that SARS-CoV-2 can get into the lungs through saliva, with the virus moving straight from the mouth to the bloodstream, particularly in people with diseased gums. As the virus reaches the bloodstream, it can then travel through neck and chest veins to reach the heart before being pumped into blood vessels of the lungs, according to the researchers.

The authors noted there is emerging evidence that certain ingredients in some inexpensive and widely available mouthwashes are highly effective at inactivating the SARS-CoV-2 virus.