4 Things the Pandemic Taught us about Oral Health

pandemic and oral health

pandemic and oral healthServing patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville TN

Last year was a challenging year for everyone. The coronavirus pandemic took its toll on humans around the world, and it even affected our oral health. Whether you found yourself binging on junk food to suppress COVID stress or finding employment again was front and center of your mind (instead of whether you flossed or not), your teeth and gums may have suffered over the past year. Today on the blog, our Greeneville family dentists share four things the pandemic taught us about oral health and shares ways to repair dental damage that occurred last year.

Oral Hygiene Matters

The pandemic may have invoked a great deal of stress in your life, and you may even have found yourself putting routines and habits to the wayside. While you may come out on the other side of the pandemic with a few extra pounds, weight gain may not be your only health concern. You might also have inflamed gums that bleed easily or gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. If you have gum disease, you’re more susceptible to cardiovascular disease, stroke, and dementia. The good news is that gingivitis can be reversed with diligent oral hygiene, like brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily. Additionally, if you suffer from advanced stages of gum disease, while it cannot be reversed, it can be managed with proper oral care. So, whether you let your oral hygiene habits fall to the wayside or you felt too stressed to think about it, it’s never too late to amp up your oral hygiene routine and improve your oral health.

You Shouldn’t Skip Dental Appointments

Last year, many dental practices closed their doors and were only able to see patients for emergency dental services. This meant putting routine care like dental cleanings on hold. While our Greeneville dental office has been re-opened for some time, many patients were still hesitant to venture into public settings for fear of the COVID virus. Now that vaccines are widely available, and our practice continues adhering to strict COVID protocols, rest assured that going to the dentist in Greeneville is safe right now. Avoiding the dentist means that existing dental problems manifest into bigger ones and could end up causing you to need emergency dental care. Commit to six-month checkups and cleanings to stay on top of your oral care and avoid unexpected dental visits and costly repairs.

What You Eat Affects Your Oral Health

Keeping your gums and teeth healthy goes beyond brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist. As the saying goes, you are what you eat! What you put in your mouth affects your oral health. During the pandemic, you may have binged on your favorite junk foods too many times, not only affecting your waistline but your teeth too! Get your diet back on track and aim to eat fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and dairy. Limit sugar, processed foods, and highly acidic foods and beverages, which damage enamel and encourage tooth decay and gum disease.

Poor Oral Health Affects Immune Response

Your oral health is connected to the health of your whole body, including your immune system. Gum disease, a direct result of poor oral health, is a chronic infection of the gums, which means the body’s immune system is in overdrive, constantly fighting the infection. Additionally, the immune system cannot fight off other diseases and infections, like respiratory viruses and age-related illnesses as well. If you want to help out your immune system and keep your teeth and gums healthy, practice good oral hygiene.

Family Dentists in Greeneville, Erwin, and Jonesborough

Taking care of your oral health has many benefits, from reducing your risk of dental disease to protecting your heart health, mind and boosting your immune system. Get a jump start on improving your oral health by scheduling your next checkup with Tusculum Dental Care. Call (423) 639-7575 to schedule an appointment.