Yikes! It turns out that the pandemic wasn’t only bad for our respiratory health, it was also bad for our oral health, according to an American Dental Association survey and New York Times article.
But how can that be? How can a respiratory illness negatively affect oral health? The answer is more complicated and layered than it first appears.
Oral Health and Stress
Stress! It does crazy things to your body, and your mouth is no exception.
Of the dentists surveyed about their patients’ oral health:
- 71% saw an increase in teeth grinding and clenching
- 63% saw a rise in chipped and cracked teeth
- 62% saw an increase in TMD symptoms
In other words, most patients are demonstrating some sort of stress-related symptom.
Stress has to be dealt with, or it will express itself in the body. People unknowingly clench their jaws and grind their teeth at night, which results in all kinds of problems, including headaches, chipped teeth, etc.
Oral Health and Changing Habits
We all got a little… sloppy during the pandemic.
Sweatpants and t-shirts replaced suits and skirts. It was casual Friday every day! We indulged more in comforting foods and ate more sweets. We skipped or postponed our dental appointments to have our teeth cleaned because we didn’t want to venture out into an uncertain world.
Basically, we all did what we needed to do to feel safe and well during a terribly difficult time. High fives all around! We’re so glad that you did what you needed to do to feel secure.
But now our teeth are paying for our slacking off. More than a quarter of the dentists reported increased cavities and gum disease in their patients.
There is no need to feel guilty or anxious if your oral health has declined in the past few years. A majority of people are in your exact same position. We just need to work together to reestablish good oral health habits.
You know how after the holidays you feel a little slow? All the parties and goodies have finally taken their toll, and you recommit yourself to eating a healthy diet and moving around more. And, much to your surprise, it feels really good to take a walk in the park, eat a hearty vegetable soup, and go to sleep at a reasonable time. These are the sort of easy changes you can make to regain your oral health.
Return to Old Oral Health Habits – Best Dentist NYC
The great thing about regaining your oral health is that we’re not asking you to do anything you haven’t done before.
- Brush twice a day, every day
- Floss daily
- Make an appointment to have your teeth cleaned by Sky Dental – the best dentist in NYC!
And while you’re here, we’ll discuss if stress is interfering with your sleep, giving you headaches, or even causing chipped teeth.
It will be easy and blame-free. We aren’t here to make you feel guilty or shamed! Just the opposite. We want you always to feel supported and empowered about your oral health. Together, we are a team. And together, we’ll get your whites pearly and clean once again!
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