Dentists across the country have noticed increases in cracked teeth and jaw pain. (Unsplash)
With the added stress of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, there’s been a cascading effect on many people, specifically involving cracked teeth, jaw pain, and other dental health issues.
According to Bremerton dentist Dr. Peter Ruff, he’s been seeing more and more instances of patients with cracked teeth and complaining of jaw pain, a direct result of frequent teeth-grinding.
“This is a stressful time, and we are seeing more issues,” Dr. Ruff told KIRO Radio.
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That’s a trend that’s been consistent not just in Washington too, with one Winnipeg dentist describing a “huge increase” in patients who grind their teeth, seeing as many as three or four people a week with jaw pain and headaches.
A dentist in San Diego has seen similar problems among his patients too — prior to the pandemic, Dr. Paul Koshgerian told CNN he was treating roughly one cracked tooth a day. Nowadays, he sees anywhere from two to five cases a day. Iowa dentist Dr. Derek Peek spotted the same trend, treating twice as many cracked teeth in August and September as he did in those months last year.
To mitigate grinding and jaw pain, Dr. Ruff recommends preventative dental care, something he says many people have put off since the pandemic began.
“If early detection of the problem is available, then early treatment relates to less pain, less discomfort, and less expense,” he advised.