COLORADO SPRINGS – The coronavirus pandemic has impacted our daily lives in many ways. One area that some people may be unaware of is the impact of the pandemic on our teeth.
Right now, dentists say the COVID-19 pandemic is making some people a little hesitant to come for their annual appointments.
“What we saw were patients who, because they didn’t go to the dentist, made their teeth worse. They weren’t taking care of themselves. Maybe their diet got worse. been changed, their routine, essential exercise. In other words, everyone’s life had been turned upside down, ”said Guerra Dental’s owner in Colorado Springs, Dr. Frederick Guerra.
Guerra says his dental office, like many others, is seeing many patients delaying their regular dental visits during the pandemic. Most dentists only see 70% of their normal workload.
“We have these patients who for whatever reason are uncomfortable coming in and I think as dentists we absolutely have to respect that,” Guerra said. “The scary thing is that by the time you feel severe pain or look around to call the dentist, it’s almost too late for that disease or that tooth.”
Since dental offices were closed in March, work has been done to reopen and run this essential service safely. Patients should expect safety measures ranging from COVID-19 screenings at the front office to changes at the dental chair itself.
“We’ve almost adopted a slightly larger operating room type environment here to protect patients and keep our staff healthy,” Guerra said.
According to research from the American Dental Association, less than 1% of dentists nationwide have had a confirmed or probable diagnosis of COVID-19.
“It worked,” Guerra said. “Research has shown that all cases of transmission in dental offices are linked to incidents that took place outside the dental office.”
When it comes to dental health itself, dentist Dr Michael Allen told our press colleagues in Arizona that he is seeing an increase in cavities in patients who have never had problems in the past.
“Maybe it’s because they stay home a lot more and tend to snack all day long when they’re at home or drink drinks that they wouldn’t normally be if they were at home. were going to work. Maybe they got lazy and depressed. A lot of people are depressed right now. And so the last thing they want to do is floss and brush their teeth. Maybe it’s because we all wear masks and it dries our mouths out or something. Don’t get the normal cleaning, ”said Allen, owner of Sabino Family Dentistry.
“Mask mouth” problems include bad breath, tooth decay, and gum inflammation, but the American Dental Association says it has not seen any evidence that masks impact our risk of cavities. .
“There is no scientific data to support this,” said Dr. Craig Armstrong of the American Dental Association. “I’m actually in contact with the scientific director of ADA and I asked him this question point blank and he says there’s no evidence to back it up.”
Instead, many dentists fear that a delay in regular dental care is the cause of other problems.
“We know of people who delay their oral health care, it leads to other organ system problems,” Guerra said. “Heart, lung, kidney, I mean it’s a cascade of events. The problems that occur in the mouth will not be limited to the mouth. “
Dentists offer these tips to help you until your next dental visit:
– Stay hydrated to avoid dry mouth conditions which can cause problems
– Brush and floss regularly
– Get enough rest to fight stress
– Limit foods that stick to teeth and produce cavities
– Even during this difficult year, do not give up on your dental health.
“There is always hope,” Guerra said. “The fact that they came through this front door with these phobias and that they are in our chair tells us, to my staff, to my reception, to my hygienist, to my assistant, that they are there for help. They took the first step towards rehabilitating their mouths and getting them back to good health. So we commend them for that. “
If you have any dental questions, you can contact Dr. Guerra’s office at (719) 419-8678 or visit: https://www.guerradental.com/
Here is a list of other dental providers in southern Colorado for your convenience: