As COVID-19 continues to grip the nation, more and more pandemic-related illnesses and physical ailments are rising. From shingles to quarantine fatigue, Americans are going through a lot. One common problem is cracked teeth.
Were cracked teeth a problem prior to the pandemic?
Cracked teeth aren’t uncommon by any means, but the cases have risen quite a bit since COVID-19 first hit. According to CNN, for an oral surgeon in San Diego, Dr. Paul Koshgerian, one cracked tooth per day or even every other day was the norm. Now, two cases per day is the regular, with worse days treating five cases of cracked teeth. Dental professionals across the country are noticing a spike in their numbers of patients with cracked teeth, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
How does COVID-19 cause cracked teeth?
COVID-19 alone does not cause cracked teeth. The cause of cracked teeth stems from the anxiety in our world today. COVID-19, politics, protesting, looting, and riots are just a few of the things creating stress and anxiety in our nation. With this amount of stress, people can involuntarily grind their teeth or clench their jaw, resulting in broken crowns, fillings, and teeth.
When is it time to visit your dentist?
If you’re noticing an overall negative change in your oral health, it may be time to schedule a visit with your dentist. Take note if you’re experiencing pain while your teeth are together, any type of swelling, or any broken pieces of teeth. If you notice that your teeth and/or gums are swollen when you wake in the morning, you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep. All of these symptoms are signs of bruxism and should be treated before the problem worsens. Taking care of it as soon as the symptoms arise will ensure proper treatment and quicker relief.
How do you treat cracked teeth?
The first order of business when treating cracked teeth is an x-ray. Your oral surgeon wants to see what’s going on firsthand. In addition, your oral surgeon will take a look at your medical history to see if you have any underlying issues that could be contributing to weak/cracked teeth. Once the severity is determined, it’s time to treat the tooth!
If the crack only reaches the dentin, you’re en route to a root canal. This will close up any cracks and protect the tooth from cracking further. If the crack reaches through the root, there is unfortunately no saving it. The next step would be a dental implant. To prevent any further teeth cracking, your dentist may suggest a mouthguard. Most teeth grinding happens at night, so wearing a mouthguard would be the first step to protect your teeth!
In addition to a mouthguard, your dentist may recommend stress-relieving activities. Easier said than done these days, but stress relief is a huge treatment for the prevention of cracked teeth.
Contact us at AZ Sleep & TMJ Solutions to learn more about how we can help you prevent cracked teeth.