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Here's How to Get Your Dental Hygiene Back on Track If You Haven't Been to the Dentist

Here's How to Get Your Dental Hygiene Back on Track If You Haven't Been to the Dentist

In September, the American Dental Association released the results of a survey in which more than half of surveyed dentists reported seeing increases in "stress-related oral health conditions" in patients since the beginning of the epidemic. Brainstorming (teeth grinding), chipped and cracked teeth, and symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) were on the rise. Read more: Finding the best dental insurance in florida.

The most common thing I've seen recently is an increase in periodontal disease (also known as periodontal disease) in patients who have just returned to the dentist, says Jeri Bullock, DDS, Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs at the University of Utah School. Odontology.

"The accumulation of calculus in the teeth, and the accumulation of all, is much more than what usually happens, because now it is a year instead of six months," said HelloGiggles, referring to the gap between appointments. Read more: Dental insurance plans in new york.

I also noticed more stains and bad breath. The latter can be attributed in part to the fact that people are less likely to drink water during the day due to masks that generally help remove bacteria from the mouth. Several people have told Pollock that they realized it was time to go back to the dentist when they noticed that his gums were bleeding. Gingivitis can stem from a change in habit, whether it's not flossing or brushing too often.

So if you have any of these dental problems, don't worry. From quick fixes to long-term fixes, dentists explain what you can do right now for the health of your teeth.

Quick solutions to dental problems

"I think we've all experienced more stress than in the past, and stress really does lead to the cramping and grinding factor," says Pollock.

Since stress reduction isn't always possible, Pollock recommends meditating or taking a warm bath before bed. People can also try a warm pillow or anti-inflammatory medicine before bed to help relax the muscles. He also suggests gently massaging the cheek and ear muscles.

However, if you grind your teeth like never before, Joseph E. Gampakorta, DDS, associate dean of clinical affairs at the University of Buffalo College of Dental Medicine, says that a boil and bite mouth guard could be a short-lived solution. time in the future for a dental appointment, especially if you think you need a diagnosis and treatment.

"What you are trying to create is basically a barrier so that the teeth do not touch," explains Gampakorta. "So putting something in your mouth, like a sports mouth guard, would act as a barrier and reduce friction if someone grinds their teeth at night or if someone clenches their teeth during stressful times of the day."

When people started working from home, Pollock noticed that most people chose to snack and drink, such as sugary coffee and energy drinks, that could contribute to tooth decay. If this is the case with him, try cutting back on sugary snacks until you can schedule your next dental appointment.

 Is it safe to go to the dentist during COVID-19?

The best thing you can do to regain your oral health is to make an appointment with a dentist, but some people put off their routine appointments. Pollock has seen a decline in the number of sick arrivals since the start of the pandemic.

"There are a lot of people's concerns regarding safety. Are they going to post something for us or are we going to post something for them?" Pollock begins, because dentistry is something [patients] don't need to wear a mask. for. So I would say that a lot of people have decided to stop this part of their medical care. "

Gampakorta notes that dental offices are among the safest places at the moment, due to the protection protocols in place, which include dentists and staff wearing PPE.

"The dental office is very safe, so patients who postpone treatment must go back to the dental office and do their job," says Gampakorta. "Obviously, there is still a certain percentage of the population very concerned about what is happening, which is understandable, especially if they have underlying health problems. But the research clearly indicates, basically, that a dental clinic is safe."

Gambacorta also cites more precautions being taken by some dental offices, including advanced air filtration, fewer patients in the office, extended office hours, and conducting coronavirus (COVID-19) checks before appointments.

Both Bullock and Gambacorta say that the average patient should plan to see a dentist every six months. However, cases vary, and some people need to be tested more often. Dental problems that are not treated can develop into more advanced problems. Carious lesions (cavities) often grow on teeth over time, which can lead to more extensive procedures (such as a root canal, tooth extraction, or crown).

"Delaying treatment will only allow poorly maintained teeth to continue to deteriorate and continue to have problems," says Gampakorta.

"I would just say if you have any questions, please contact your dental provider, they will be more than happy to speak with you," she says. "Because it is clear, as a profession, that we want to make sure that everyone feels safe and comfortable entering our environment."