Despite the challenging and difficult times we find ourselves in during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to ensure that our oral health isn’t neglected. Your dentist is still here for you to take care of any urgent problems or pain complaints. However, continuing to practice good oral hygiene is necessary to prevent deterioration of your teeth and gums. Given that most of us are now spending more time at home, this should give us motivation to perfect our daily oral care routines. Failing to do so can unfortunately lead to rapid progression of dental disease.
Neglecting your oral care can lead to tooth decay, which can range from being asymptomatic, slightly sensitive, or painful enough to keep you up at night. If left neglected or untreated, tooth decay can reach the nerve at the center of the tooth, putting you at risk of pain and infection.
The health of teeth is important, but so is the state of the gums and bone that support it. Collection of food debris on the surface of your gums, can, over time, cause them to become inflamed and the irreversible loss of the bone surrounding the tooth. Therefore a good oral care routine not only protects your teeth but also keeps your gums disease-free.
Infections and Abscesses
If decay or gum problems are left untreated, they can lead to infections or abscess formations. Any swelling in the mouth is urgent and requires immediate attention from a dentist. If a swelling is left untreated, the infection can spread to other spaces in your head and neck, potentially leading to a life-threatening emergency that requires hospitalisation.
How do I keep my teeth healthy during the pandemic?
The advice for taking care of your teeth doesn’t change no matter what pandemic is upon us! Some general tips include:
– brush twice daily (morning and night) with fluoridated toothpaste
– floss daily to prevent decay in between the teeth
– eat a healthy, balanced diet, limiting sugar intake and decreasing snacking during the day
– during these stressful times, the prevalence of teeth grinding and jaw pain has increased. If you have a splint, wear it nightly! If you don’t and are experiencing jaw aches – give a call to your dentist to chat about your options
Don’t forget – if you are experiencing any oral pain or discomfort – call your dentist! You may require urgent treatment, which is important to treat before it progresses and leads to any complications.