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Dental Health During COVID-19 Lockdown

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Dental Health During COVID-19 Lockdown

4 min read


COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown have hit oral health in more ways than one. This article discusses dental health issues in lockdown during COVID-19 and how they can be prevented.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sneha Kannan

Published At May 13, 2020
Reviewed AtMay 6, 2024

The world is currently suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no treatment yet available for this highly contagious infection. The only effective way that most countries have adopted is lockdown and isolation to prevent the rapid spread of the disease. Although this strategy is helping in containing the infection, it has also resulted in several other healthcare issues due to stress, uncertainty, anxiety, and lack of proper care of the human body such as exercise and intake of a suitable diet.

General body issues that have surfaced in the population are due to dietary and lifestyle issues. There are growing concerns about obesity, weight gain, hypertension, worsening of diabetes, and strokes. This has increased due to a sedentary lifestyle and increased craving for foods due to lockdown. In addition to this, psychiatric issues have also increased due to anxiety, depression, grief, sorrow, and family conflicts.

What Are the Dental-related Issues Surfaced Due To COVID-19?

Dental health is an important pillar of general health, as the oral cavity is the gateway to the body. Any problem with the oro-dental apparatus can severely impact the overall health of an individual. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, dental health is also compromised, and a chain of dental-related issues have surfaced. These are:

  1. Tooth pain.

  2. Sensitivity.

  3. Halitosis or bad breath.

  4. Gum bleeding.

  5. Dry mouth or xerostomia.

  6. Oral ulcerations.

  7. Jaw fatigue or pain.

1) Tooth Pain:

It is caused due to consumption of carbohydrate-rich food. It is commonly observed that people eat more when they have nothing else to do and idle. It also increases cravings to eat more and more food. Any tooth that is weakened by minor dental decay can progress to major problems due to the availability of sugar-rich food, as it accelerates the activity of microbes in the oral cavity, resulting in pain.

2) Sensitivity:

It is caused due to poor oral hygiene and improper brushing. Moreover, patients having any underlying medical condition such as diabetes mellitus show symptoms of generalized sensitivity due to poor oral hygiene and lack of prophylactic dental care treatment from the closure of dental clinics in an attempt to check the spread of infection via aerosol generation during treatment.

3) Halitosis or Bad Breath:

It is caused due to poor oral hygiene and lack of brushing due to anxiety. Moreover, due to lack of exercise in lockdown, patients may suffer from constipation and other gastrointestinal disturbances causing bad breath. Due to a lack of proper and timely care, certain chronic diseases such as diabetes, chronic renal failure, etc., can worsen, causing bad breath. Diabetes is a common lifestyle disease that is present in a sizable amount of population, and because of the untimely medical intervention of such patients, the disease may worsen, resulting in halitosis such as acetone breath as noticed in hyperglycemia.

4) Dry mouth or Xerostomia:

It occurs due to anxiety and panic from uncertainty due to COVID-19. Patients with some medical conditions can develop it due to a lack of medical attention and worsening of the disease from stress. It is commonly observed that panic results in dryness of the mouth. In diabetes, there is a loss of a large amount of water in urine known as polyuria, which can also result in dryness of the mouth.

5) Mouth Ulcers:

It is again caused due to stress in lockdown from various issues such as loss of job and livelihood. It can also be due to pressure from family conflicts. Multiple studies have shown that gender violence has increased during the lockdown. All these factors collectively result in stress, which may cause ulcerations in the oral cavity.

6) Gum Bleeding:

It occurs because of inflammation of gums due to calculus and plaque deposition from lack of oral hygiene and improper brushing. During the lockdown, people suffering from anxiety can develop hypertension causing bleeding from gums. With the absence of dental care, such conditions worsen.

7) Jaw Fatigue:

Some patients in stress develop jaw fatigue or pain. This occurs due to the stiffness of the jaw muscles. In dentistry, one of the main causes of jaw pain or fatigue is myofascial pain dysfunction syndrome involving the temporomandibular joint and associated muscular apparatus. A large number of patients with this condition have a history of anxiety and stress. Lockdown has already generated psychiatric issues, which may also affect temporomandibular joint causing fatigue or pain in jaws.


As we know, there is no better way to control the pathologies or problems than prevention. During the lockdown, it is becoming difficult to access doctors due to the closure of major private clinics and hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. So under such conditions, it becomes more important that people follow preventive measures like a holy code to prevent themselves from developing any dental health problem. It would also prevent one from unnecessary exposure due to visiting a hospital, where chances of infection transmission are high. The various preventive measures that can prove helpful during this crisis are:

  1. Reduce the consumption of sugar-rich foods in your diet.

  2. Take fiber-based foods.

  3. If you are taking meat, make sure it is cooked sufficiently to avoid it from being stuck to your teeth.

  4. Reduce the consumption of sugary beverages and drinks.

  5. Do not frequently snack between meals and avoid fast foods.

  6. Make sure you rinse your mouth after taking foods and other liquid beverages.

  7. Never attempt to bite hard objects with teeth.

  8. Take adequate water to prevent dryness of the mouth.

  9. Make sure that you brush your teeth before you go to bed.

  10. Do light exercises daily to prevent constipation.

  11. Engage with friends and family through text messages. Stay in touch with them to avoid detachment that can result in anxiety.

  12. Do meditation if you believe in it. It relieves stress.

  13. Avoid watching unnecessary news that is based on rumor and panic.

  14. Keep yourself busy in any productive activity, such as gardening, painting, watching entertainment shows, reading, and cooking. It will also relieve stress.

  15. Consume a low-salt diet to reduce the tendency for high blood pressure.

  16. Try lukewarm saltwater gargles if you are not hypertensive.

Stay in touch with the official bulletin of the World Health Organization (WHO) and other government-run media bulletins. In case of any dental health issue, try to contact registered and skilled dental doctors through the teleconsultation facility first. Get advice from doctors and act accordingly.

Prevention is always better than cure. Follow these protocols and stay healthy!

Frequently Asked Questions


What Words Parents Ought to Avoid Saying to Their Kids?

Few statements like:
- We are unable to finance that.
- You enrage me so much.
- I detest my work.
- I need to visit the store.
- Everything is going to be well.


What Is the Phrase That Harms Children the Most?

Phrases like:
- You are not loved.
- You were a blunder.
- You really are the drama queen.
- Because I declared it to be so.
- I am embarrassed by you.
- Put an end to your tears.
- You have too many questions.
- You will never be very successful. 
- You are intelligent.
- Girls do not hit, and boys do not weep.


What Should Parents Not Tell Their Children?

- Sexual Life: It is crucial to discuss sex with children. It is important for them to know when and why having sex is appropriate, as well as how to say no.
- Money Worries: Although I believe it's crucial to teach kids the value of money and to make sure they know they are not a bottomless pit of goodies, it will only cause them distress if the parents disclose to them family's money worries, debts, or other uncontrollable issues.
- Past Offenses: Children look to their parents to be their moral compass and to discern right from wrong. They do not want to think about their parents making mistakes or doing terrible things, so the parents should try their hardest to keep this going, at least as long as they're small.


What Statements Do Parents Who Are Toxic Say?

Parents who criticize their kids, express self-wishes, lament the challenges of parenting, draw unhealthy comparisons, or say cruel things are the most typical examples of toxic behavior. These remarks have the potential to permanently harm a child's development on the social, psychological, and emotional levels.


What Kind of Words Harm Children?

The emotional effects of parents' frequent use of upsetting and harsh language on their kids are felt in nearly every area of their life. It impedes their development—cognitive, expressive, and group. They gradually begin to feel that they are "not-so-perfect" and that they can't live up to their parents' expectations.


What Does Toxic Parenting Entail?

When someone talks about toxic parents, they usually mean parents who act in a way that makes their kids feel guilty, afraid, or obligated all the time. Their behavior is not a single incident; rather, it is a pattern of behavior that adversely affects the lives of their child.


How Can an Adult Gaslight a Child?

Distorting the truth, downplaying a child's experience, or playing the victim are just a few of the destructive tactics gaslighting parents employ to manipulate and control their kids. Being raised by gaslighting parents can have long-term consequences for an adult, such as low self-esteem and an increased risk of mental health issues.


What Neurological Effects Does Shouting Have on a Child?

Recent developments in neuroscience suggest that threatening, berating, and punishing children not only does not help, but instead alters their brains permanently, leading to long-term issues like anxiety and depression.


What Are Parenting Dos and Don’ts?

Do Initiate Early Teaching of Responsibilities: Learning to read, learn to do chores, or pick up an instrument from a young age has traditionally been seen as a benefit rather than a drawback.
- Refrain from Micromanaging: A youngster who receives constant assistance loses confidence and is unable to learn. Rather, carers ought to encourage problem-solving abilities.
- Promote Self-Reliance: Give them room to make errors without becoming angry with them. It is also critical to introduce kids to a variety of activities so they may discover interests outside of school. Youngsters who are enthusiastic about anything in life are more likely to succeed at it.
- Don't Give Too Much Acclaim: Kids with poor self-esteem may get anxious about getting constant praise and start selecting simpler assignments. Instead of telling kids that everything they do is amazing, parents should focus on their abilities and accomplishments to help them develop a true sense of self-worth.
- Give Honour to Sullenness: Urge him or her to consider certain methods for honing their abilities, since this will help them get closer to their objectives. Playing an instrument or stepping outside of their comfort zone to try out for a new play are examples of good risks that kids should take. Children might be encouraged to put up more effort through trial and error.
- Avoid Being Too Strict: Early in life, give him or her some autonomy over decisions, but don't take away all control. Giving a toddler too much power may be stressful, so give them two or three alternatives to pick from.
- Give Communication Skills Some Attention: Not only can someone with strong communication skills listen well, but they can also articulate their own ideas well. 
- Love Is Never Ending: Finally, let kids know that they have undying affection, regardless of their successes or poor choices. It can be detrimental and damage the connection if the child believes that winning affection is dependent on how well they do.


What Errors Do Parents Frequently Make?

- Ignoring to fix issues.
- Problems that are overestimated or underestimated.
- Possessing Impractical Expectations.
- Having Inconsistencies.
- Ignoring limitations or rules.
- Taking defense.
- Not trying to fix What is ineffective.
- Not setting a good example.
- Facing the challenges of children.
- Saving children from mistakes before they happen.
- Not paying attention to the child.


What Kind of Content Is Best Not to Show for Children?

Content with violent, sexual, pornographic, or other mature themes unfit for young audiences are a few examples of what can be deemed unfit for children. Videos with age restrictions that are inappropriate for users under the age of 18.


What Guidelines Must Parents Adhere To?

- Stay away from comparisons. 
- Remain composed when confronted with improper conduct. 
- Offer kids options/ choices. 
- Keeping divergent approaches to parenting. 
- Do not mix up connections with parents and spouse. 
- Give the kid some space. 
- Let the older kid enjoy himself.
- Give younger children the same amount of duties.
- Help youngsters learn to control their rage.
- Assist youngsters in shedding unwanted habits.


What Do Kids Who Have Strict Parents Do?

Research indicates that children raised in a very controlling way often have low self-esteem, turn to bullying, and may even develop depression. Many people also struggle with self-regulation and weight concerns.
Source Article IclonSourcesSource Article Arrow
Dr. Soheel Hussain Zargar
Dr. Soheel Hussain Zargar



oral health
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