It’s been a stressful several months. Amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been tricky to stay on top of our normal routines, and dental care is no exception. Brushing and flossing your teeth at home remain a critical part of maintaining good dental hygiene.
With no end in sight for Coronavirus concerns, dentists are reporting a new phenomenon linked to the increase in stress: cracked teeth.
Day and night
Cracked teeth can be caused by grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw. Many people do this at night without knowing it due to stress or conditions like sleep apnea. To prevent further gum and enamel damage, dentists will often prescribe a mouthguard or retainer.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, dentists are noticing increases in cases of cracked teeth, and stress is the underlying factor. Increases in stress also leads to clenching and grinding teeth during the day.
A San Diego dentist noted that before the COVID-19 pandemic, his office was treating a couple of patients with cracked teeth per week, but now they are treating those patients a couple times per day.
More than meets the eye
The uptick in patients with cracked teeth can also be linked to other indirect factors of the pandemic. People are out of their daily routine: brushing and flossing habits are more lax and snacking and drinking habits have changed. All of these factors have led to patients coming into the office with new presentations atypical of pre-Covid dental findings..
In addition, because of the shelter-in-place order that took effect in March, many San Diegans missed their regular appointment and fell off of their routine care schedule. Approximately 12% of patients are still reluctant to reschedule dental appointments and await a medical breakthrough like a vaccine Now, over six months later, we know so much more about COVID-19, how it spreads, and how to keep our patients and staff safe.
The mouth is the window to your body health. Check ups with your dental team focus on preventative measures and are vital to keeping up with our overall health. Preventative healthcare signals changes in our health and even alerts healthcare professionals to other underlying health conditions. As time goes on, dental issues only become more severe and solutions become more complex to treat. It is beneficial for you and your family to schedule and attend routine dental appointments to ensure we are minimizing the need for invasive treatments
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