Don’t Let the Pandemic Disrupt your Dental Health: The connection between oral health and COVID-19.
While COVID-19 has created unprecedented uncertainties for many, there are simple ways to keep your oral health on track and MANY important reasons to maintain your dental health during the pandemic. In fact, it’s more important than ever to preserve your smile and continue to see you dentist, especially since recent studies show that there is a connection between oral health and COVID-19.
Here’s some of the latest research the Dr. E Cosmetic & Family Dentistry team wants to share with you on how your teeth and COVID can impact each other – along with tips to help you take care of your teeth during these challenging times:
A Link Between COVID and Gum Disease:
Recent studies published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology and other reputable publications report the connection between oral health and COVID-19 by revealing that patients with severe gum disease appear to have more severe COVID symptoms. Other research out of McGill University reveals that people with periodontitis are 8.8 times more likely to die of COVID-19, 3.5 times more likely to require hospitalization for COVID-19 and 4.5 times more likely to require a ventilator. These alarming statistics underscore the importance of maintaining proper oral hygiene at all times to help preserve overall health!
COVID, Stress and Your Teeth:
The pandemic has understandably left many of us feeling more stressed and anxious than ever, even while we sleep. Dentists are now finding that high stress levels have contributed to bruxism (aka teeth grinding) and jaw clenching, which can wreak dental havoc! These negative habits can result in chipped teeth, headaches and/or jaw pain and even TMJ, an uncomfortable joint condition of the jaw that may require surgery. The good news is that you can alleviate these stress-induced habits by incorporating relaxation techniques and rituals into your daily routine such as yoga and meditation – especially before bed. Dr. E’s main tip… avoid surfing the web before bed!
Keep Your Dental Appointments During COVID!
When the pandemic first struck in early 2020, many dental offices were fully closed to patients, except for severe dental emergencies. During these months, when there were so many unknowns, it was understandable that many patients had to prolong their dental appointments. However, by early August 2020, more than half of dental offices were back open with extreme COVID-19 safety precautions in place, such as social distancing, temperature checks, upgraded ventilation systems, masks and other necessary protocols. Despite such safeguards, these dental offices still reported seeing much less patient volume than their normal pre-pandemic patient flow. As we close out 2021, it is no surprise that dentists are noticing an increase in progressed tooth decay and cavities among returning patients due to prolonged dental visits.
Dr. E wants to remind patients that it is safer than ever to see your dentist today given all of the thorough protocols that dental offices have in place to protect their patients and staff. In fact, you actually place yourself at greater risk for preventable problems such as gingivitis, tooth decay, cavities and other health concerns by postponing the dentist and risking your dental health!
Don’t let the pandemic get in the way of your family’s oral health! Per current CDC recommendations, we do require masks but we want to remind you that our offices are safe and welcoming to patients of all ages! Contact the Dr. E Cosmetic & Family Dentistry team, voted the best dentist in Ahwatukee for 5 years, today to schedule your next dental visit! 480-494-2435