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Valley dentists see uptick in teeth grinding, other dental damage amid pandemic

As the pandemic continues, some are feeling more stress than ever. Local dentists say it could be taking a toll on your dental health. 

“People have had a lot of stress being at home, thinking about finances, their other obligations and life and general,” said Dr. Kianor Shah, Desert Dream Dentistry & Spa.

Valley dental offices are seeing the effects of the pandemic on their patients first hand. 

“They’re more stressed they’re worried about the economy, they’re worried about the election they’re worried about their everyday life because everything has been disrupted,” said Audra Adyani, Portola Dental Group. 

As a result, dental offices say they’re seeing more patients coming in with teeth grinding or other dental damage. 

“When they come in we notice wear patterns on their teeth. We recommend a nightguard to protect them,” said Dr. Shah. 

A dentist can help fit a patient with a custom made mouthguard to prevent grinding, which can lead to chronic toothaches, headaches or even cracked teeth.

“Also be aware, take a walk, decompress...that will help your muscles in your jaw relax,” said Adyani.

The other problem? Dentists say patients haven’t been coming in for their normal cleanings due to pandemic concerns. 

“They’ve been putting it off for some time...we’re seeing more buildup on teeth, more gingivitis, periodontitis,” said Shah. 

Shah says his office has strict new protocols in place that prioritize patient safety. 

“I actually cannot really have any contact with the patient when we have these on,” said Shah, showing News Channel 3’s Madison Weil the full PPE his team wears daily. 

Same goes for the team at Portola Dental. From social distancing, plexiglass, PPE and temperature checks, they say they’re following all protocols to ensure patients have a safe visit. 

“Anyone over 100.6 we let them know we’ll have to reschedule and come back a different day,” said Adyani. 

Dentists say it’s safe and essential to keep your dental health in check during the pandemic.

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Madison Weil

Madison Weil joined the KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 News Team in June 2018. Learn more about Madison here.


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