Stress from COVID-19 leading to dental problems | Coronavirus in Arizona

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) — Going to the dentist can be a bit stressful, but that’s not the reason Bill Franklin has been grinding his teeth.

Franklin is one of many Arizonans feeling the stress of the current health pandemic and its impact on their well being.

“I was used to going into the office every day, and now, we’re staying at home,” said Franklin. “Most of it is self worry, like, ‘What does my boss think I’m doing now?'”

Dentists across the state and around the Valley are seeing an increase in patients with chipped teeth, broken fillings, and cases of TMJ. Dr. Mathew Goldring is a dentist at Brookstone Dental Care north Phoenix.  He said the oral ailments can sometimes be linked to the stress COVID-19 has created, with more people grinding, gnawing or clenching their teeth.

The stress of the economy, the upcoming election, and the recent rioting and protests haven’t helped either.

“There is a chemical response the body has to stress, and that does play a part in dentistry and overall health,” said Goldring. “Whether it’s teeth grinding, or whatever it might be, that can definitely put undue pressure on teeth and start to break things that weren’t broken before, and definitely need for more dental work.”

Face masks are also creating another dental dilemma. Dental hygienists say that wearing a mask forces people to breathe through their mouths, making the gum area dry and open to infection.

According to Goldring, there’s no easy way to tell people to be less stressed. But if you are having any problems with your teeth, get it checked out as soon as you can.

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5’s Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.



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