Simple Tips to Stay on Top of Your Dental Needs
We are so happy to see so many of our patients returning for regular visits now that our staff is vaccinated (and many patients are or will get vaccinated in the coming weeks)! Although the last year has been one that I think we would all prefer to forget, we did want to make sure you don’t forget to be taking the best care of your mouth and oral health!
CONSIDERABLE LAPSE OF TIME
We have seen an increase in cavities and gum disease due to patients having to postpone and scale back on visits in the last 12-18 months. Some of our patients scheduled for semi-annual cleanings throughout 2020 have had to cancel or reschedule their appointments, failing to see a dentist since their pre-COVID check-up. During this time, any existing problems have progressed, and new disease may have started. Staying on top of your regular cleanings and check-ups is key to maintaining your healthy, pretty smile and teeth!
CLENCHING + GRINDING
With the additional daily stress that has come along with COVID, dental problems have worsened. Stress-induced clenching or teeth-grinding is at an all-time high, with a spike in the incidence of dental fractures and jaw pain. We have helped many of our patients, who are experiencing increased clenching or grinding, avoid further complications. You can protect your teeth and joints with something as simple as a nightguard or Botox injections to temporarily reduce clenching muscles. COVID has done enough to us; don’t let it ruin your teeth too!
The need to wear a mask has created relief for people embarrassed by dental problems (missing teeth, evident cavities, broken teeth, etc.). These unattractive issues have been hidden by masks, which has led some patients to postpone their necessary dental work. Unfortunately, their dental problems remain, leaving behind a great deal of treatment still necessary. At that time, it may be even more expensive as there is a positive correlation between the progression of disease and the cost of care to treat the problem. No one likes when dental issues sneak up on us, but it’s always the best idea to bite the bullet early on instead of waiting!
Although we are no strangers to wearing masks at UAD, our patients have recently been introduced to this necessary accessory during COVID. But, we want to remind everyone to pay attention to their oral health, so we don’t have to treat avoidable issues caused by “mask mouth.”
What Causes “Mask Mouth?”
Mouth breathing: causes dry mouth, leading to a change in the natural bacteria, promoting gum disease and tooth decay.
Dehydration: causes plaque to form on your teeth and releases an acid that eats away at your tooth enamel, and cavities may follow.
Changes in oral habits: results in gum diseases like gingivitis or periodontitis due to neglecting to brush or floss since others cannot see your teeth or smell your breath.
4 Simple Steps to Avoid “Mask Mouth.”
- Breathe through your nose even when masked
- Stay hydrated
- Maintain good oral hygiene
- Schedule regular teeth cleanings
Take care of your dental problems as soon as they are noticed. When exams and cleanings are postponed, the severity of the disease worsens, causing a more complex treatment, leading to more cost and potential for problems. Like all things, early diagnosis is key!
Our goal is always to provide the most comfortable, personal care, so you leave smiling!