We’ve witnessed countless changes over the past year as we have all worked together to combat the COVID pandemic. Besides spending more time at home, dentists have also seen several changes in their patients’ oral health. Dental offices are seeing an increase of cracked teeth in Jacksonville since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, but why? Here’s what’s behind the sudden rise of fractured teeth.
1. Grinding and Clenching
The last few months have been quite stressful. We’ve had to make several adjustments to life as we’ve known it while also dealing with the risk of contacting COVID. As a result, many people have developed pandemic-related anxiety. Stress and anxiety can lead to a subconscious habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, known as bruxism. Without the right treatment, the pressure and friction can cause multiple dental problems, like worn enamel, loose teeth, and fractures. Your dentist can detect signs of bruxism to provide the right intervention, like a nightguard. They’ll treat any damage to restore your smile to its pre-pandemic state.
2. Skipping Preventive Dental Appointments
To stop the spread of COVID, many dental offices had to shut their doors, which means patients may have missed their semi-annual cleanings and checkups. Without a dentist regularly monitoring your oral health, dental issues can quickly sneak up on you, like spider cracks or cavities. The complications can go unnoticed until they turn into a big problem, like a broken tooth. Thankfully, dentists have reopened their doors, so you can get the cleaning and checkup you need to ensure there aren’t any oral health concerns lingering in your mouth.
3. Chewing on Inedible Objects
Tension has been high as you juggle working from home and keeping your children occupied. You might have found yourself chewing on your fingernails or a pencil during stressful days. Unfortunately, daily tension can go straight to your teeth, taking out your frustration on an inedible object. Gnawing on your nails, pens, or pencils can weaken your enamel. Eventually, it can crack under pressure. It’s best to keep any inedible objects out of your mouth to avoid an unplanned trip to an emergency dentist.
Protecting Your Smile During COVID
As we work to overcome the COVID crisis, don’t let the virus leave a lasting mark on your dental health. Besides brushing and flossing, it’s time to see your dentist again for a cleaning and checkup. They’ve revamped their safety protocols to keep their offices clean and their patients healthy. While you’re there, ask your dentist about stress-relieving exercises to protect your teeth from damage.
About Dr. James L. Schumacher
Dr. Schumacher has over 40 years of experience in dentistry. Besides earning his dental degree at the University of Florida, he has also completed advanced training at the L.D. Pankey Institute. He has updated his safety standards to keep his patients healthy during the pandemic. If you have a cracked tooth or need a preventive visit, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.