The COVID-19 pandemic has affected lives in several different ways. From contact with the germs to unemployment and the loss of family members, it had many impacts. However, one of the last things one would expect is for the virus to affect dental health.
An American Dental Association (ADA) survey found that 70% of patients have been grinding and clenching their teeth more due to stress. Grinding teeth can be harmful to one’s dental health. Here are some other ways the pandemic is taking a toll on dental health.
Lack of Motivation to Visit Dentist
The fear of contracting the virus at any public place stops people from visiting the dentist even when necessary. Luckily, your local family dentist takes extra preventive measures to ensure that you remain safe at their office. However, if you still have doubts, you can set an appointment during less busy hours.
If you have experienced any dental problems, whether it is general or from stress, it is essential to visit the dentist to solve them. Waiting too long could enhance the problem and cause problems in other teeth.
Stress-related Dental Problems
In addition to grinding the teeth, dentists see other stress-related dental problems. According to a Global News interview with a dentist, the dentists are witnessing more joint problems, and patients wake up with their faces hurting. These problems could occur due to grinding but can lead to fracture to the nerve health of the tooth.
Another prevalent issue is ‘mask mouth,’ which occurs when the mouth gets dry as people have to breathe through their mouth while wearing a mask.
Unhealthy Eating Habits
The pandemic stress has resulted in high levels of junk food consumption. When the brain is stressed, it needs more energy, leading to the individual consuming sugary items. Stress-eating is a common problem that leads to more significant problems, such as obesity in the long run. However, that is not its only impact.
Eating junk food, especially sugary items such as chocolates daily, can affect the teeth and cause dental problems such as pain and cavities. Eating during stressful moments has more to do with distraction rather than hunger. Since the pandemic had a significant impact on many lives, eating food to distract themselves is a coping mechanism for many.
Increase in Alcohol & Tobacco Consumption
Like food, some people use alcohol or tobacco to cope with a problem or ease their stressful minds. These addictive habits can adversely impact one’s dental health. Heavy drinking is associated with tooth decay, tooth loss, and mouth sores.
Smoking cigarettes daily can stain the teeth, cause discolouration, and eventually lead to oral cancer risk. Since people use alcohol and tobacco as a coping mechanism, the pandemic has increased these consumption habits.
The pandemic has affected the world in many ways, but you can still improve your dental health if you put your mind to it. Don’t skip dentist appointments and put your oral health before your bad habits. The beautiful smile you achieve in the end will be worth it.