Dentists see increase in stress-related dental issues amid pandemic

A person undergoes a dental exam.

From cracked teeth to clinching, pandemic-related stress is sending more and more people to the dentist's office.

A recent survey by the American Dental Association found that dentists across the United States have seen a 60 percent increase in the number of patients dealing with stress-related dental conditions. 

Dr. Linden Dungy of Immanuel Dental in Farmington, Minnesota is one of them. 

"I just had a patient come in today, they’re getting ready to leave out of town and they broke one of their teeth and this is about the fourth tooth that we’ve had in just the past two days," said Dr. Dungy. 

Some dentists are reporting a rise in grinding, chipped and cracked teeth along with a number of other ailments. Dentists say for some patients the pandemic is at the root of the problem. 

"Whether it’s associated with losing a job, associated with a job change, or financial situations that change, I think that it will stem back, if you dig a little deeper that it will be related to the pandemic," he said. 

Now a year into the pandemic, Dr. Dungy encourages people to really pay attention to the warning signs.

"People out there should be asking themselves, 'Do I have pain in my mouth, or along my jaw? Do I have headaches? Does my neck hurt?' And then ask yourself, 'When do these things occur? Are they occurring when you wake up? Are they occurring when you’re under stress?'" he said. "Because most people don’t - they know they’re under stress, but they don’t understand the ramifications of what’s happening to them under stress."

Dr. Dungy stressed that it's important to keep up with regular dental checkups to help remedy any issue that may come up.