COVID-19 Q&A: Should you go to the dentist?

Answers about mouthwash, rashes and when students should quarantine after COVID-19 exposure.
3:46 | 08/13/20

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Transcript for COVID-19 Q&A: Should you go to the dentist?
Dr. Jen is here with a whole new batch of your coronavirus questions. We'll get right to it. First one, does mouth wash kill the virus? A lot of people are asking this question. There's been some published data in "The journal of infectious diseases." Early preliminary study in Germany that was prompted by the observation that people with known covid-19 had high viral loads found in their mouth and throats. Again, the theory was if they used mouth wash could that help? What they found right now -- bottom line not ready for prime time -- it can't stop the virus from replicating. It can reduce the viral load. We have to now -- here come the cautionary. Do not drink anything that's so toxic that it will kill the virus. It will do absolute damage to your mouth. People are looking at it. You know, good old salt water is a good safe thing to gargle with. Gargle, not swallow. Not swallow. Next question. Should students quarantine if they interacted for 15 minutes or more with someone who tested positive? Short answer is yes. We know that the risk of becoming infected is really based on two primary factors. Closeness of exposure, within six feet, and time or duration of exposure, 15 minutes or more. Yes, the official recommendation is self-quarantine for 14 days. If you can get tested, I asked Dr. Anthony Fauci about this, day three, four, five is a good general time if you can get tested. When you self-quarantine, Amy, it's so important you have to assume and presume that you are infected. It really means keeping your distance from others. Next question, should you postpone your routine dental visits? This was a big headline today. This is a huge headline coming out of the world health organization who actually recommended that routine nonessential dental work be delayed in the setting of covid-19. The American dental association came out with a swift response saying they respectively but powerfully disagree with the world health organization. They're considering dental work an essential service. Untreated dental work is the most common condition in human beings. We know that oral health is incredibly important. The risk of the dental visit is more so to the dentist more than that's why you're seeing the controversy. I actually have gone for my routine cleaning right now because I want to take advantage of a little bit of a lull here. That says a lot. Dental health affects heart health too, correct? It affects overall health. Dentists are taking more precautions than ever before. To be crystal clear, this has always been a serious part of their practice. I don't think we've heard the last of this. Next question, how can you tell if a rash is symptomatic of covid or a heat rash? I've been in touch with my dermatology pals. The short answer is it can be difficult to tell. About 8% of people who have diagnosed positive with having covid-19 presented first with some kind of skin rash. That can be like a prickly heat type of raised itchy bumps on the elbows, on the trunk, on the belly, but it can vary. If you're noticing something different and unique and unusual for you, you want to get some kind of medical evaluation for it. Great advice as always. You can submit questions to Dr. Jen @drjashton. Everyone's version of back

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