A new study has found that people with advanced gum disease are much more likely to suffer complications from coronavirus, including being more likely to require a ventilator and to die from the disease.

The research, which examined more than 500 patients, found those with severe gum disease were up to nine times more likely to die from Covid-19. It also found that patients with the oral disease were nearly five times more likely to need assisted ventilation.

Coronavirus has now infected 115 million people worldwide with around 4.1 million coming from the UK.

Gum disease is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world. In the UK, an estimated 90% of adults have some form of gum disease.

According to the Oral Health Foundation, gum disease can be easily prevented, or managed in its early stages.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the charity, believes keeping on top of your oral health could play a key role when it comes to battling the virus.

Dr Carter says: 'This is the latest of many studies that form a connection between the mouth and other health conditions. The evidence here seems overwhelming – by maintaining good oral health, specifically healthy gums – you are able to limit your chances of developing the most serious complications of coronavirus.

'If left untreated, gum disease can lead to abscesses, and over several years, the bone supporting the teeth can be lost,' adds Dr Carter. 'When gum disease becomes advanced, treatment becomes more difficult. Given the new link with coronavirus complications, the need for early intervention becomes even greater.'

Latest figures collected by the charity show almost one-in-five Brits (19%) immediately stop brushing the bleeding area and nearly one in ten (8%) stop brushing altogether.