The AJ Dental Group looks at the possible oral health consequences of ‘lockdown stress’.
Although there is no formal news about dental practices opening yet and it may still be a little while away, things do seem to be slowly improving in the Covid-19 crisis and some shops are now gradually planning to re-open (with appropriate distancing and other precautions) in the near future.
We are also hopeful that the government will look at the options for opening dental practices soon as there will be an increasing number of people who are suffering with fairly uncomfortable oral problems.
Whilst treatment is available in special dental units for the most serious cases, even a moderate toothache can be very distressing even with the use of painkillers. There will be other problems too that people will be having to deal with without professional dental support.
All of this will add to the general stress of the restrictions that have been placed on us. In today’s blog, we take a look at some of the ways that this stress may have affected your teeth and gums.
Reduced home dental care
Even if unintentionally, it is quite possible that some of us will not have brushed our teeth as often or as well as we used to do. This is likely to apply more in the morning as we are out of a routine. Even a small reduction in this could have an effect on our teeth and gums, leading to possible tooth decay and gum disease. If you suspect that you may have been ‘guilty’ of this, remember that it is not too late to start to improve this now with regular brushing and flossing.
There have been reports that, perhaps unsurprisingly, there has been an increase in snacking during lockdown. Whether this is through boredom or stress doesn’t really matter in terms of the result. Any snacking over a period of time is not good for the oral health of our Woking patients. Even relatively healthy foods, if consumed in this way, can be harmful as there is insufficient time in between snacking for our saliva to clear the mouth of food particles and excess bacteria. In addition to this, many ‘snack’ foods tend to be high in sugar, a well known problem for our teeth.
If you do snack; in addition to brushing and flossing, try to drink water after your snack, swilling it around your mouth before swallowing. This will help to remove some of the offending food particles.