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An American Dental Association survey released March 2 “found more than 70% of dentists report an increase of patients with teeth grinding and clenching problems – conditions often associated with stress.” The survey also found that 63% of dentists “reported an increase in chipped and cracked teeth, and 62% reported an increase in temporomandibular joint disorder.”
Dentists report that office visit volumes are down from prior to the pandemic as people continue to defer care, but the ADA found that fewer than 1% of US dentists have had a confirmed or probable COVID-19 diagnosis, suggesting infection control measures at dental practices are working. Continued deferral of care is concerning, dentists say, because oral health conditions left untreated can progress into something less isolated and more serious. And this sort of progression is exacerbated when personal oral hygiene habits have lapsed. "We know people that delay their oral health care, it leads to other organ system problems," Frederick Guerra, D.M.D., told KOAA-TV of Colorado Springs, Colo. "Issues that are going on in the mouth aren't just going to be limited to the mouth." Full Story: KOAA-TV (Colorado Springs, Colo.) (11/25)