Pandemic Stress and Cosmetic Dental Damage

With restrictions and regulations in place in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many dental patients have been experiencing higher levels of stress. Stress can be detrimental to your health, including your oral wellness.

Habits developed from increased stress can also lead to cosmetic damage to your teeth. Dr. Paul Larsen, a dentist in Bountiful, UT, describes three stress-related habits that may lead you to require cosmetic dentistry.

pandemic stress causing cosmetic dental damage in Bountiful Utah

Drinking Beverages That Stain

Stress can have a negative impact on your sleeping habits. If you wake up feeling poorly rested, you may drink tea or coffee for a caffeine boost to get you through your day. Dark-colored beverages, like coffee and tea, contain tannins that can absorb into tooth enamel and leave stains.

Adding milk to your drink or choosing a lighter-colored brew may lower the risk of tooth discoloration with these beverages, but you may want to avoid these drinks or enjoy them in moderation to protect your tooth color. If you notice staining, yellowing, or discoloration in your teeth, you should ask your dentist about a professional whitening treatment.

Grinding or Clenching Teeth

Stress can also lead to habits like teeth grinding or clenching, which is known as bruxism. The grating of the top row of teeth against the bottom row can lead to tooth breakage.

Severe damage may require restorative dental work to amend, but minor issues can be fixed with cosmetic dental treatments like tooth bonding or porcelain veneers. Your dentist might recommend that you wear a customized mouthguard at night to protect your teeth from damage that may occur due to bruxism while you are asleep.

Skipping Dentist Appointments

With the chaos of the global pandemic, it can be difficult to keep your regular appointments. The stress has caused many dental patients to cancel or skip their routine dental cleanings.

During a routine cleaning, your dentist cleans plaque and tartar from spots in your mouth that are difficult to reach with traditional brushing techniques. Skipping this cleaning allows plaque to eat away enamel, leading to tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues that can affect the health as well as the appearance of your teeth.

Cosmetic Dentistry Services Available in Bountiful, UT

Larsen Family Dental offers teeth whitening and other cosmetic dentistry treatments for patients in Bountiful, UT. Dr. Larsen also specializes in restorative and general dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 801.228.0155.