Delayed Care is a Big Concern

Delayed Care is a Big Concern

This article was originally posted on Roseman Medical Group’s Blog.

After reviewing The Washington Post article “After a year of pandemic-delayed medical treatments, doctors are seeing more cases of advanced illnesses”, it’s safe to say that delayed care due to the COVID-19 pandemic is a big concern. COVID-19 created unprecedented challenges for those patients seeking care for conditions not related to COVID-19.

As COVID-19 cases subside and vaccination efforts continue, many healthcare providers are encouraging patients to prioritize their health and seek timely treatment – including Roseman Medical Group and Roseman Dental & Orthodontics providers.

Barriers Leading to Delayed Care

An article published in JAMA Health Forum outlined the results of several public opinion polls conducted during the pandemic to gain insight on whether individuals were able to access medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic. One study reported that one in five adults in the United States – roughly 20 percent – reported experiencing delayed care during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, 31-42 percent reported postponing health care for non-COVID-19 issues, such as dental care, regular check-ups, treatment for ongoing conditions, diagnostic or medical screening tests, vision care, and surgical procedures.

Barriers to care included:

  • Full out-of-pocket costs
  • Fear of COVID-19 exposure
  • Finding an available physician
  • Securing appointments for care
  • Accessing location where care would be provided
  • Positive COVID-19 tests for those slated for surgery

Consequences of Delayed Care

For those who reported postponing care due to the pandemic, 57 percent said they experienced negative health consequences as a result. The Washington Post pandemic-delayed care article cited several occurrences of patients experiencing adverse effects from postponing care, as well as new medical concerns.

A survey conducted by the American Dental Association found that over 70 percent of dentists reported an increase in patients grinding or clenching their teeth and 60 percent reported an increase in chipped or cracked teeth which are common stress-related conditions. Additionally, physical therapy needs are on the rise with pain and injuries related to remote work and optometrists and ophthalmologists are seeing an increase in eyestrain due to increased screen time.

The consequences of delayed care vary, depending on factors such as underlying health and the type of care avoided. Recent evidence shows that states with an increased number of COVID-19 deaths also experienced substantial increases in mortality due to other causes, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Delayed care can lead to numerable consequences:

  • Prolonged avoidance of primary and specialist care impacts chronic condition control, increases the probability of acute complications, and delays diagnosis of new conditions
  • Delayed preventative screenings could lead to undetected diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, depression, cancer, and more
  • Forgoing pediatric visits could cause negative impacts on physical, mental, and social development of children
  • Skipping preventative dental care such as semi-annual exams and cleanings could lead to costly damage to oral health such as tooth decay and gum disease
  • Prolonged hospital stays and higher costs
  • Increased illness severity, morbidity, and mortality

Provider Perspective on Pandemic-Delayed Care

Roseman Medical Group Provider Perspective

Andra Prum, DO
Primary Care
Roseman Medical Group

“Upon review of the Washington Post article, I definitely agree with the importance of timely preventative, urgent and chronic medical care for patients. Unfortunately, I have seen many patients delay care during the COVID-19 pandemic and end up hospitalized for issues that could have easily been prevented on the outpatient basis. With this in mind, I encourage our RMG patients to schedule their annual physical, dental visits, follow up for chronic illnesses, and COVID-19 vaccination for those that qualify at this time.”

Roseman Dental & Orthodontics Provider Perspectives

Erin Greene, DDS
AEGD Program Director
Roseman Dental & Orthodontics

“As a dentist, I have certainly seen an increase in major dental issues since the COVID-19 pandemic began. With the shutdown, fears about going to the dentist, and people losing their jobs, many people had no choice but to ignore their dental health, unless they were experiencing significant pain. Unfortunately, by the time a tooth is hurting, it usually requires major dental work to treat. Small cavities that can be easily treated are usually present with no symptoms.  This is one of the reasons it is important to find a dentist that you trust and visit on a regular basis. Dental offices have taken extra precautions in order to provide care safely, and patients can feel confident in seeking dental care.”

Glen Roberson, DMD
AEODO Program Director
Roseman Dental & Orthodontics

“A couple of things I have noticed in regard to orthodontic treatment and the quarantine period/COVID:

  1. It appears that due to the mask mandate, many people (particularly adults) have opted to undergo orthodontic treatment because nobody can see that they are wearing appliances
  2. People seemed to be brushing less, again likely because of the mask mandate, and perhaps because for the longest time, people didn’t leave the house. This has subsided (thankfully), but for patients in treatment, that can mean white spot lesions on their teeth where early demineralization has occurred.
  3. Some patients had appliance/wires, that continued to work even though we were not able to see them as often/readily. Those patients may have had teeth move more than we would have liked, or in directions we didn’t necessarily want. Thankfully, again, this type of movement was minimized because most treatment modalities have some built in stop-gaps.
    • Invisalign trays will only act as a retainer after the programmed tooth movement in any given tray.
    • Elastomerics deteriorate over time reducing the amount of force placed on the teeth.
  4. Because orthodontists were not able to regularly see their patients and continue treatment improvement, most patients saw their overall time in braces increase. There have been studies that have concluded that the degree of COVID-19 and the mortality can be directly correlated to oral health. So, keep brushing and see your dentist!
Why are my gums swollen?

Why are my gums swollen?

Don’t panic if your gums are swollen. Surprisingly, it’s a common issue among people and in most cases, swollen gums are easily treated. Your gums are made of firm, pink, thick fibrous tissue full of blood vessels which cover your jawbone. Swollen gums, also known as gingival swelling, is when your gums are abnormally enlarged, bulging or protruding. When your gums are swollen it’s a sign they are irritated due to some type of issue and can be sensitive and painful.

Causes of Swollen Gums

There are several causes of swollen gums.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the most common cause of swollen gums. Gingivitis, also known as gum inflammation, is a form of gum disease that causes inflamed gums. The inflamed gums are due to plaque, a naturally occurring sticky film containing bacteria – also known as biofilm – that builds up on your teeth and produces toxins that irritate the gums. If you have gingivitis, your gums can be swollen, puffy, receding, sometimes tender, or bleed easily. Untreated gingivitis can develop into a more severe form of gum disease known as periodontitis, a major cause of tooth loss in adults.

Food Debris

If you notice swelling around just one tooth, it is possible there is food stuck under your gums. Make sure to floss and brush properly and the swelling should resolve in a few days? go away on its own. If the swelling persists, make sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Leaving food under your gums can lead to gum disease.

Pregnancy

During pregnancy there are a lot of hormonal changes that occur. These hormonal changes can cause swollen, inflamed and sensitive gums.

Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth is a pocket of pus that’s caused by a bacterial infection. Your dentist will treat an abscessed tooth by draining the pocket of infection. Signs that you may have an abscessed tooth include not only red or swollen gums, but throbbing pain, swollen jaw or face, a tender or sore tooth, and fever. Make sure to schedule an appointment right away with your dentist if you are experiencing these symptoms.

Braces

Braces are designed to move and adjust teeth slowly over time. Braces cause a constant, steady pressure to your teeth that causes change to happen in your gums and jawbone. Having swollen gums is expected with braces, especially when they are first adhered or tightened. Braces with swollen gums is completely normal but brushing and flossing regularly will help reduce the amount of gum soreness you experience around your teeth. Having good oral hygiene while having braces will also help prevent gingivitis, the main cause of swollen gums. With braces it is a lot easier to get food stuck in the gums which can lead to gingivitis if proper oral hygiene isn’t practiced.

Additional Potential Causes

Other potential causes of swollen gums include:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene
  • Infection – Viral or Fungal
  • Medication Side Effects
  • Poor Nutrients
  • Mouthwash or Toothpaste Sensitivity
  • Dentures or Dental Appliances Fitting Poorly

Age, stress, obesity, tobacco, and genetics are also known to increase your risk of gum swelling.

Preventing Swollen Gums

The best thing you can do to prevent yourself from getting swollen gums is to practice good oral hygiene and visit your dentist on a regular basis – every six months for a cleaning and checkup. Good oral hygiene includes:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day at a 45-degree angle
  • Brushing away from your gums to remove debris at or below your gumline
  • Using a soft bristled toothbrush or an electric toothbrush – they’re more effective at removing plaque
  • Cleaning between your teeth every day – flossers, interdental brushes or water flossers work well
  • Using a mouthwash to help reduce accumulation of bacteria and plaque

If your swollen gums last for an extended period – more than a few days – or you are concerned about your gums, schedule an appointment with your dental provider. They will be able to diagnosis the problem and start treatment.

For affordable, high-quality dental care in Henderson, Nevada or South Jordan, Utah contact Roseman Dental.

Nevada Location
Utah Location

 

Dental 360° – Utah April Issue

Dental 360° – Utah April Issue

It’s a new month and Spring has finally arrived. The time has come where we can start enjoying the warmer weather, the beautiful flowers beginning to bloom, and the great outdoors. April is a month to be appreciative of the world around us, but it is also a time to bring awareness to Parkinson’s Disease and Oral Cancer. April is Parkinson’s Disease (PD) Awareness Month. PD is a nervous system disorder that affects movement. Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with PD each year and over 10 million people worldwide are living with it. Join Roseman Dental and the Parkinson’s Foundation this month to #KnowMorePD. This month is also Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Oral Cancer is cancer of the mouth and upper throat. Every hour, 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year, someone dies of oral or oropharyngeal cancer. Yet, with early detection and treatment, Oral Cancer has high rates of survival. Make sure to get screened for Oral Cancer at your next dentist appointment.

During this month’s issue of Dental 360°, you’ll gain insight into how Parkinson’s Disease impacts dental health (link to article), a 360° look at Oral Cancer and gain a better understanding of tooth sensitivity and why you may have it (link to article).

Roseman Dental’s Dental 360° is a monthly e-newsletter. Each month you’ll receive a panoramic view of dental health. Dental health is key to your overall health and here at Roseman Dental, we are dedicated to improving not only your mouth, but your whole self. At our clinic we have an excellent team of licensed dentists, dental residents and students, and dental assistants and hygienists all focused on you and your family’s oral health. We offer comprehensive care, are a one stop shop for all your dental needs and offer dental care at a cost typically lower than what you would find at a traditional dental office. Roseman Dental has been serving its community since 2011 and we look forward to continuing to serve you and your family.

We hope you find Dental 360° helpful and informative. We look forward to connecting with you monthly.

 

Dental 360° April Articles

Parkinson’s Disease & Dental Health
Oral Cancer Awareness
Tooth Sensitivity & Why I Have It

Tooth Sensitivity & Why I Have It

Tooth Sensitivity & Why I Have It

Do you ever feel pain when you consume certain foods or drinks that are hot, cold, sweet or acidic? You may be suffering from tooth sensitivity, also known as dentine hypersensitivity (DH) or dentine sensitivity (DS). Tooth sensitivity is defined as pain or discomfort in the teeth as a response to certain triggers or stimuli, such as hot or cold temperatures. Sensitivity occurs when tooth enamel is thinned.

Tooth Enamel

Tooth enamel is the visible, outermost covering of your teeth. The color of healthy enamel varies from light yellow to a gray or blue-like white. It’s the hardest substance in the human body and contains a high percentage of minerals. It protects the inner, more fragile areas of your teeth known as pulp and dentin. Taking care of your enamel is very important because it is the first line of defense against tooth sensitivity and tooth decay – the most common dental condition worldwide.

How Tooth Enamel is Worn Down

Tooth enamel can be worn down by brushing your teeth too hard, using a hard toothbrush, grinding your teeth at night – also known as sleep or nocturnal bruxism – and regularly eating or drinking acidic foods and beverages. It can also be worn down from repeated exposure to extreme temperatures.

Treating Tooth Sensitivity at Home

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, there are some things you can try that are considered over-the-counter dental treatments, but it is always important to consult with your dentist about your teeth sensitivity as they have the most knowledge and expertise in this area.

Desensitizing Toothpaste

Select a toothpaste that’s labeled as being specifically made for sensitive teeth. These types of toothpaste won’t have irritating ingredients. Some of these types of toothpastes also can contain desensitizing ingredients that can assist in blocking the discomfort from traveling to the nerve of the tooth. If you’re not sure what desensitizing toothpaste is right for you, consult with your dentist.

Alcohol-free Mouthwash

Mouthwash that does not contain alcohol will be less irritating to sensitive teeth.

Soft Toothbrushes & Brushing Softer

Tooth enamel can be worn down by brushing too hard and using a hard-bristled toothbrush. Try brushing softer and using a soft-bristled toothbrush or electric toothbrush.

Treating Tooth Sensitivity at the Dentist

If the at-home remedies just aren’t working, make sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist. There are a variety of things they can do to assist with tooth sensitivity.

Fluoride

Your dentist might apply fluoride to the sensitive areas of your teeth to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce pain. Your dentist might also suggest the use of prescription fluoride at home, applied via a custom tray.

Desensitizing or Bonding

Occasionally, exposed root surfaces can be treated by applying bonding resin to the sensitive root surfaces. A local anesthetic might be needed.

Surgical Gum Graft

Gum graft, also known as gingival graft, can be performed when your gums are receding. Gum recession exposes the roots of your teeth and can cause sensitivity and lead to tooth decay. If your tooth root has lost gum tissue, a small amount of gum tissue can be taken from elsewhere in your mouth and attached to the affected site. This can protect exposed roots and reduce sensitivity.

Root Canal

If your sensitive teeth cause severe pain and other treatments aren’t effective, your dentist might recommend a root canal — an endodontic treatment used to treat problems inside the tooth, known as the soft core or dental pulp. While this might seem like a significant treatment, it’s considered the most successful technique for eliminating tooth sensitivity.

If you’re experiencing teeth sensitivity schedule an appointment with Roseman Dental. Our skilled team will examine the affected teeth and recommend treatment to reduce your sensitivity.

Nevada Location
Utah Location