Americans are going through a lot more stress than usual with the coronavirus pandemic spreading across the country. Stress impacts both our body and mind. But do you know the effects it has on your oral health? Dr. Melissa Elliott of Harford County Dentistry, a dentist in Fallston, MD, discusses what you should keep an eye out for.
Teeth Grinding and Clenching
One of the biggest impacts stress has on our oral health is that many people start grinding and clenching their teeth. This can happen even if it wasn’t a habit they had before this. Grinding and clenching can lead to jaw pain, headaches, and tension throughout the face and neck.
This extra pressure on your teeth also comes with more wear and tear. Your teeth will wear down quicker and may be uneven. You may also have to deal with chipped, cracked, or broken teeth. This can be as mild as a small cosmetic chip, or a large break in the tooth that can be painful. If this happens, call us immediately so we can provide emergency dentistry during the pandemic.
One of the ways TMJ disorders can form is through excessive teeth clenching and grinding. TMJ disorders basically build on the symptoms that you experience from those issues. Your jaw may start popping and clicking. You could have issues chewing and talking or opening and closing your mouth.
Since you’re isolated, there are massages and exercises available online that you can do to help relieve the symptoms of TMJ disorders. If you have a partner or family member you’re quarantined with, they may be able to help. After the pandemic is over, we can discuss the best way to fully treat your TMJ disorder symptoms.
Poor Oral Hygiene
When our routine is thrown off, some things may get missed. Oral care may be one of them. But brushing and flossing are still important, especially if you’ve been snacking a lot while social distancing. Try to make yourself get into a new regular routine while you’re home. Make sure you make oral care part of it. You want to avoid any problems with tooth decay.
Decreased Immune Response
Stress leads to a decreased immune response, making you more susceptible to gum disease. If you notice your gums are bleeding or more sensitive than normal, make sure you’re stepping up the oral care. The bacteria from gum disease can get in through these cuts and openings, leading to issues in other areas of your body. You want to make sure you avoid this, especially with a virus going around.
Your Dentist in Fallston, Maryland
When the pandemic is over, make sure that it didn’t wreak havoc on your oral health. We’ll be ready and waiting to get you checked out. Call us or schedule an appointment online. We hope to see you soon!