COVID-19 may have caused dramatic changes in everyone’s lives, often causing chaos, but it has also caused people from all around the world and all walks of life to work together and look out for one another. If anything, this global health crisis has brought people—families and strangers alike—closer.
Staying indoors and practicing physical distancing is not without health consequences, however. More people are dealing with stress and anxiety, and this not only affects one’s physical and emotional health, but it affects your dental and oral health as well.
Here are the three most common dental problems that emerged in this time of COVID-19:
1. Chipped or cracked teeth
Some individuals are “natural” teeth grinders; that is, they’ve been in the habit of grinding their teeth as they sleep through the night practically all their lives. When COVID-19 hit, dentists noticed a surge in similar cases where patients have cracked or chipped teeth or complained about general pain but do not have visible signs of tooth decay or other pain-inducing dental problems. This led them to believe that stress and anxiety caused by COVID-19 may have caused them to unknowingly grind or clench their teeth.
2. Mouth sores
Some patients develop mouth or canker sores, and while these may be caused by several reasons, including hormonal imbalance and Vitamin B deficiency, dentists do not discount the fact that stress experienced by the patient living in these trying times may have also been the cause.
3. Bleeding gums
When a person has been under a lot of stress for a prolonged period, the body’s natural ability to fight off infections may become weak, and when this happens, physical and oral health may be affected. Patients may suddenly find their gums have become too sensitive thus causing them to bleed at the slightest touch. Even brushing alone causes their gums to bleed.
Other common dental problems that may arise from the body’s weakened infection-fighting ability also include bad breath and tooth decay.
In general, dentists advise patients and everyone to take extra steps in caring for their teeth and gums and overall oral health during this time of COVID-19. While it may be challenging and difficult at times, prevention is still the best way to ensure optimum oral and dental health.
If you wish to visit your dentist, make sure to call ahead of time as dental clinics limit the number of patients they see per day and the number of patients they allow inside the clinic at a time. This, and other health protocols, are strictly implemented and followed for the safety of patients.