Coronavirus has completely transformed our lives. Things are very different from before. Even a regular dentist check-up has to be planned well in advance. Untimely and unhealthy eating habits and excessive and mindless drinking have acutely impacted our oral health during the pandemic.
Due to the outbreak, many dental clinics were closed, and often dentists were only available for teleconsultation. However, with the easing lockdown norms and life returning to normal, dental clinics and dentists are experiencing a sudden surge in the patient numbers.
Dentists see more cracked teeth complaints than ever before. Quarantine fatigue and excessive stress of work from home, have led to an increase in dental problems among patients.
From swollen gums to cracked teeth, patients have been at the receiving end due to the pandemic. They are eagerly waiting to get treated at the earliest to get rid of their dental problems.
Reasons for the Increase in Dental Health Problems
Regular day routine has taken a backseat. Now there is no rush to head to the office or get ready to catch up with a friend over a coffee. During lockdown, shutdown, and quarantine, people have forgotten basic oral hygiene routines.
Constant worrying, anxiety, protests, the country’s general state, and the global conditions stress people out about the future, causing dental issues like bruxism. Bruxing, or involuntarily grinding or clenching of teeth, can damage fillings and crowns and crack teeth. Stress affects our mental health, especially at night, which causes grinding of teeth, ultimately leading to cracked teeth.
Other dental problems include:
- Decreased routine cleaning due to the fear of the coronavirus outbreak
- Good habits like brushing and flossing are overlooked as social outings decline
- Tooth pain is being ignored as a dentist visit could turn catastrophic
- Gums are more inflamed due to improper brushing, usage of tobacco, and other food habits
- Excessive alcohol drinking is linked to dental erosion, mainly due to alcohol’s high acidic content
Dental Services Continue To Suffer
Even though the dentists are claiming that their clinics are safe to visit and are open for business, patients are still not ready to take risks amidst the ongoing pandemic.
Many dental practices are facing economic and social challenges. Due to excessive care restrictions and shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), some dental clinics are heading to closing down, and many are reducing their hours of practice.
While dental practices continue to see fewer patients, DIY dentistry or home dental remedies are slowly performing better.
Teledentistry Is the Way Forward
Coronavirus is shutting down many brick and mortar stores. At present, teledentistry (virtual dental visits) is useful for patients suffering from chronic dental issues. Teledentistry addresses dental problems and educates the community using live audio, real-time, and video technology. During this crisis, teledentistry enables patients to interact with dentists from any corner of the world, without risking exposure to the virus.
Measures to Mitigate Stress
Dentists suggest certain practices to relieve stress and improve oral health:
- Use customized pillows and neck rests to ease pressure on the jaws and neck while sleeping
- Cutting back on food items containing refined sugar
- Not compromising on oral hygiene habits
- Putting your tongue between your teeth while they are resting to prevent teeth clenching
What is a Dental Emergency
While x-rays and cosmetic problems can wait, dental emergencies in Des Moines are needed if you face any of these dental problems:
- Severe dental pain, swelling, or bleeding
- Signs of tooth infection
- Broken teeth and damaged tissue
- Damaged or broken crowns, dentures, or braces
- Post-surgery care
- Cancer treatment
It is not certain when dental services will resume and practices will be fully operative. Still, you can stay at home and take care of your oral health by following basic oral hygiene and virtually connecting to your dentist. Do not neglect your oral health by ignoring cracked or chipped teeth, gum problems, or other dental issues. Contact our West Des Moines dentist and schedule your appointment today in case of dental emergencies.