WOODWAY, Texas — A Woodway dentist says the pandemic is taking a toll on people’s teeth.
Dr. Corbet Locke has been a dentist for 35 years, but he says he’s never seen so many people come in with cracked and fractured teeth.
“Cracked and broken teeth can be a result of the stress that comes from clenching and grinding,” said Dr. Locke.
Dr. Locke believes the increase is tied to higher stress levels during the pandemic.
According to an American Dental Association (ADA) study from March, 60% of dentists who responded said they’ve also seen an increase in stress-related conditions since the pandemic began.
This includes cracked teeth, grinding and jaw pain.
The increase also coincides with a decrease in dental checkups.
According to a report released in February by the Carequest Institute of Oral Health, more than one in ten people said they had delayed getting dental care during the pandemic.
The primary reasons people delayed care included cost and loss of dental insurance.
According to the report, an estimated 6 million people have lost their dental insurance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another reason people listed was fear of exposure to COVID.
Both the CDC and the ADA are encouraging people to continue dental visits during the pandemic.
According to an ADA study, dentists have also seen clients come in with more advanced gum disease.
Scheduled cleanings and checkups can help dentists catch these issues before they become severe.
“If you haven’t been to see your dentist, make an appointment,” said Dr. Locke. “It’s always better to take care of a problem sooner rather than later,”