It's an unusual time in human history as the COVID-19 virus continues to infect people across the globe. The pandemic has had an impact on people all over the world, not only due to actually getting the illness but also because of the side effects of the pandemic and the restrictions created by it. Protecting your family should be your first priority, but that also includes making sure that their overall health is in good shape — including their teeth. Here are three ways the pandemic could be ruining your family's teeth.
Teeth grinding is a common problem and one that most people will go through at some point over the course of their lives. Stress often causes people to clamp their teeth together, typically without realizing it. This can put immense pressure on one's teeth, which can break down enamel and potentially cause chipping or breaking.
To make matters worse, excessive grinding can also cause mandibular tori. While this phenomenon won't hurt your teeth, the bony lumps that form under the surface of the gums can be painful, and in certain cases, necessitates removing them surgically.
Many people have had a difficult time going through the restrictions put in place by the pandemic, and by the fear and sorrow surrounding this virus in general. As a result, many people are experiencing some level of depression during this time.
Depression can leave your mood in a bad place, but if it goes on untreated, it can also impact the way that you live your life. People who are depressed often neglect self-care, including brushing their teeth. Even those who maintain regular brushing schedules may find that they're brushing for less time or are lazier about covering all the surfaces, which can increase the risk for gum disease and dental decay.
When the pandemic forces cities and states to go into lockdown, it often means that people spend most of their time at home. Simple things like going to a store suddenly become a potential danger, so it's understandable if you've put off getting dental care during the worst of the pandemic. However, it's not a good idea to let this slide forever.
Regular cleanings and exams are a must in order to clear away tartar before it can cause decay, in addition to finding other problems with your oral health. If you're worried about it, give your local dentist's office a call to find out what preventative steps they're taking to help keep their patients safe. In general, you can expect them to wear masks, other PPE, and they may be vaccinated, as well.
For more information, contact a family dental clinic near you.