The majority of people who contract COVID-19 survive the virus – it’s those with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, that have been shown to suffer complications. But those who survive the virus aren’t always guaranteed a full recovery.
“While most persons with COVID-19 recover and return to normal health, some patients can have symptoms that can last for weeks or even months after recovery from acute illness,” explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Even people who are not hospitalised and who have mild illness can experience persistent or late symptoms.”
The most commonly reported long-term symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, joint pain and chest pain.
But experts have now warned of another side effect of the virus – sudden teeth loss.
READ MORE: Coronavirus symptoms: Day-to-day breakdown of how virus develops including symptoms
Dentists have said COVID may irritate gums through inflammation, and there have been several cases of people losing teeth as a result.
One woman lost a tooth this month having tested positive for the virus in spring, according to The New York Times.
Sarah Khemili, 43, from New York, noticed her tooth getting wobbly before losing it while eating an ice-cream.
The report also details the case of a 12-year-old boy who lost one of his adult teeth months after a mild case of COVID.
Unlike the woman, who had a history of dental issues, the child had normal, health teeth.
His mother, Diana Berrent, took to Twitter to urge people to take the virus seriously.
“My 12yo just lost an adult front tooth and his other teeth are loose… it turns out from vasculature damage 9 months after Covid,” she said.
“Omg. PLEASE… I beg of you, take this seriously. For you. For your kids. For everyone.”
More serious long-term complications appear to be less common but have been reported.
- Cardiovascular: inflammation of the heart muscle
- Respiratory: lung function abnormalities
- Renal: acute kidney injury
- Dermatologic: rash, hair loss
- Neurological: smell and taste problems, sleep issues, difficulty with concentration, memory problems
- Psychiatric: depression, anxiety, changes in mood
The best way to prevent long-term complications of the virus is to prevent a COVID-19 infection.
Everyone is advised to wear something that covers their nose and mouth in places where it’s hard to stay away from other people.
Try to stay at least two metres away from anyone you don’t live with, and wash your hands with soap and water often, advises the NHS.