It was recently reported that more people in Britain stopped visiting the dentist during the pandemic than in any other country in Europe. In fact, research from GSK Consumer Healthcare revealed that 43 percent of Brits visited a dentist less often since the onset of the pandemic. Medical professionals are noticing the impact of this as they see a rise in patients coming in with severe dental and oral problems. Dr Richard Marques spoke exclusively with Expres.co.uk to discuss this concerning issue and offers his top tips for reducing your risk of medical emergencies regarding teeth health.
Dr Marques said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had long lasting effects in terms of delaying dental services.
“Clinics were closed for varying amounts of time during the initial lockdown, however, outside of the pandemic, the dentistry industry requires meaningful investment to reduce waiting lists in general. Dental health will suffer if this is not prioritised.
“This is very serious for the overall dental health of the nation.
“Dental check-ups are so important. Problems such as cavities can be spotted early and prevented from worsening / leading to bigger problems like root canals or tooth extractions.”
Dr Marques added: “Gum problems should be treated before they progress.
“Bleeding and inflamed gums can ultimately result in wobbly teeth and tooth loss.
“Hygienist appointments are also important to prevent this.
“Finally, and most worrying is the diagnosis of oral cancers which can starts as ulcers and progress from there, although this is very rare.
“To sum up – regular dental visits are vital for maintaining good dental and gum health which can impact overall health as well.”
For at-home tips to help reduce medical emergencies, Dr Marques offers his top tips which include:
- If your teeth is knocked out, place it in a glass of milk until it can be treated (the milk helps keep an acid-alkali ratio meaning the tooth won’t swell)
- Take paracetamol (or if safe to do so, ibuprofen) to help reduce the immediate pain
- Hold an ice pack (or a pack of frozen veg) on areas of swelling
- Dissolve salt in warm water and swish around the mouth for 60 seconds to help remove bacteria and clear infection
- Dab a small amount of clove oil on the affected area to help reduce pain