COVID mouth

Are you seeing an uptick in fractured teeth in your practice? How about a higher rate of carious lesions? Maybe we should call this “COVID mouth.”

Dr. Tammy Chen, a prosthodontist in midtown Manhattan says. “I’ve seen more tooth fractures in the past six weeks that in the previous six years.” Many dentists are reporting the same, along with a large increase in caries among patients who were previously very stable. What’s going on? There are a few theories.

The most obvious answer is that we’re all pretty stressed out. COVID induced nightmares, coronaphobia, and general feelings of fear and anxiety are real, and are causing many people to clench and grind. Poor sleep and the poor posture and makeshift workstations brought about from working at home can lead to nighttime bruxism.

And then how about caries in patients who were previously stable? Let’s face it – people are staying at home and snacking, baking, and subjecting their teeth to sugar baths that they never would have in the past.

So be aware. Although “COVID mouth” may not be an actual term, it is absolutely real. Remember this when you examine your patients and field emergencies. And be prepared with the proper treatment and counseling.

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