Given that COVID-19 is a recent health threat, its ongoing complications are still being identified. What possible complications can the virus have on your dental health?

Regular Checkups

There's one logical outcome for your dental health, and that's due to a combination of lockdowns, restrictions, and opting to largely shelter in place. This means that you might not have been able to get to your local dental office for your regular checkups. 

Developing Problems

By not being able to attend your regular checkups, it means that your dentist has not been unable to spot developing problems, meaning that a minor dental issue has the opportunity to progress. It's not as though these potential problems (such as cavities and periodontal disease) are untreatable, and yet, the required treatment may be more intensive than what would have been required had the issue been noted earlier.

In the Interim

When it's appropriate to do so, regular dental checkups should be resumed. In the interim, you'll need to take care of your teeth at home (both with your oral hygiene and your diet). You should contact your dentist if you should have any specific concerns. Your dentist may even provide teledentistry (remote consultations via videoconferencing). Any dental emergencies will still require immediate attention, regardless of the circumstances.

A Rare Issue

While the logistical challenges of maintaining your regular appointments during the pandemic can be an obvious complication, there's a possible issue which, although rare, can be a surprise. Some patients who have been infected with COVID-19 have reported unanticipated tooth loss. What's especially curious is that these losses have been described as seemingly spontaneous, and have not resulted in pain or bleeding. It's theorized that the virus might have damaged the blood vessels that keep teeth alive. Alternatively, it might be the body's immune system reacting to existing periodontal disease as it battles the virus. However, it must be cautioned that these reports of tooth loss are not common, and the precise link has not yet been determined.

Reattachment or Replacement

Certainly, the loss of a tooth (whether or not there's bleeding or pain) is a dental emergency, and prompt action must be taken, so contact your dentist immediately. A dentist can often reattach a lost tooth. However, this is generally only possible with an avulsed (knocked out) tooth with healthy connective tissues. When reattachment is not possible, your dentist will take you through your replacement options, and this replacement should be arranged as soon as possible (particularly in the case of dental implants).

Despite COVID-19, everyone needs to be maintaining their dental health, which is even more important if you haven't been attending regular checkups. For more information, contact a local dental office.