Renewing your dental insurance may not have been a top priority during the last few years. However, dentists suggest that COVID has left us with an unexpected side effect – an increased need for dental care.
With health services, including dentistry, still trying to catch up with the backlog of cases, Canadian dentists have revealed that the need for dental appointments is rising. Delaying dental procedures can cause them to compound and cause irreparable damage to your teeth and gums, yet many patients feel powerless to do anything about it. Your dental insurance is now, more than ever, the key to maintaining exceptional dental hygiene that will last you a lifetime.
What do the studies say?
As surprising as it sounds, dental issues rose as a direct effect of the pandemic. The bouts of tension and anxiety many of us have suffered during COVID and now, during financial uncertainty, can often manifest as teeth-grinding or jaw-clenching during the day or while we sleep. Do this often enough, and you can weaken or even chip your enamel or cause nerve damage. Dentists across Canada say they saw a sharp increase in patients with unexplained jaw or dental pain caused by these habits during the pandemic. You should also seek assistance if you have been waking with frequent headaches, as it is a tell-tale sign you are clenching during your sleep.
When we wear masks, we automatically switch to breathing through our mouth – an effective safety mechanism when diving or protecting ourselves from dangerous chemicals. Prolonged use of COVID masks while breathing through our mouths can have side effects. If you have been suffering from a dry mouth, you might have “mask mouth” – a condition discovered by the University of Alberta. Breathing through our mouths is fine in small amounts but do so often enough, and you leave yourself open to an increased risk of gum disease. While the legal requirement to wear masks may no longer be in place, we have adopted mask-wearing as a common courtesy when unwell, and immunocompromised people frequently wear masks as a protective device.
Compounding the issue
Of course, jaw-clenching, and minor gum disease shouldn’t be long-term issues. We’re great as a nation at visiting our dentists for check-ups and cleans. However, while you wait for your next yearly dental check-up, you could be causing further damage to your mouth and your underlying health.
Why it matters
A study in Qatar found that people with severe gum disease (i.e., gum disease that had remained untreated) were three times more likely to suffer more severe side effects of COVID and even had an increased mortality rate. COVID has shown us the extreme importance of solid underlying health, including dental health.
Mpox (formerly Monkeypox) can also affect your dental health with the possibility of oral lesions. According to the CDC, up to 75% of cases will have an oral presentation. Going to the dentist when you have an issue could enable early diagnosis.
Even if your dental issues aren’t caused by illness, they can trigger diseases if they don’t get attention. The bacteria responsible for periodontitis can enter your bloodstream if left unchecked. Bacteria in your blood can lead to respiratory disease, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery disease and blood sugar issues for Diabetics.
What can I do about it?
Dental insurance might not be your top priority, but if it puts you in the hands of an experienced dentist at the right time, it is money well spent. Our dental insurance starts from as little as $33 a month – an affordable security for your dental health.
Be informed; get in touch
Blue Country Insurance – all your protection under one roof… because your health and life matters.