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Dentists report increased chipped, cracked teeth amid pandemic stress

Dentists report increased chipped, cracked teeth amid pandemic stress
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Stress-related dental issues including chipped and cracked teeth are on the rise amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey from the American Dental Association (ADA) found.

In the study posted on the ADA's website this month, more than 7 in 10 dentists said they had seen an increased number of patients with tooth damage stemming from stress-related conditions. The study reviewed data from 2,299 physicians.

“As the pandemic continues, dentists are seeing stress-related dental conditions more and more,” said Marcelo Araujo, the ADA's chief science officer. “It’s more important than ever for people to maintain their dental health, including seeing the dentist regularly to address any issues that could have long-term impact.”

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“The increase over time suggests stress-related conditions have become substantially more prevalent since the onset of COVID-19," added Marko Vujicic, vice president of the ADA's health policy institute.

The number of dentists reporting stress-induced conditions is itself rising, and last fall sat at just under 6 in 10, according to the ADA's website.

Other conditions on the rise amid the ongoing pandemic include temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and muscle disorders, painful conditions that can cause the jaw muscles to involuntarily stiffen, causing pain to the individual.

"People are coming with more tension type headaches, migraines, decreased opening. They’ll say ‘I used to be able to eat a turkey club sandwich, but now I can’t open as big," one dentist in Buffalo, N.Y. told a news station in June.