Dentist are reporting seeing more major oral-health issues such as gum disease and fractured teeth within the last two years.
A survey done by CareQuest Institute for Oral Health found an estimated six million adults in the U.S. have lost dental insurance due to job loss during the pandemic. Of those surveyed, 65 percent reported having oral-health issues.
“They need to take care of their teeth," said Dr. Haysam Dawod.
Dawod at Dawod Dental, located at 4514 South Staples in Corpus Christi, said some people clench their teeth when they are stressed, causing fractures. Dawod said his office has seen an increase of patients with this issue.
“People complaining of sore teeth, people complaining of TMJ dysfunction — meaning pain in the jaw muscles and jaw joints," he said.
He also said, because people aren’t coming in for their regular cleanings, they are experiencing gum problems.
“You know, they come in, their mouth is dirtier than normal," he said. "They have more plaque build-up on their teeth than usual. And they come in complaining about sore gums, red gums, bleeding gums.”
Dawod said another reason patients stayed away from the dentist office was out of fear of contracting COVID-19.
“So we’ve seen a lot of cancellations on the schedule," he said. "And that's not just our office. I have spoke to my colleagues and they are having the same kind of experience."
On top of visiting your dentist for routine check ups, Dawod recommends staying on top of brushing and flossing your teeth.
“I can assure the patients to go see their dentist," he said. "It’s not safe to stay away from their dentist because you can create oral-health issues."