Dr. Casey Lynn of Smile Lynn Pediatric Dentistry in Apollo Beach said dentist offices are safe because they have been fighting airborne diseases their whole careers.

As more COVID-19-related health issues are on the rise, one area where health issues have been increasing is dental. Dentists are now seeing more patients who are experiencing cavities, tooth decay, sore jaws and cracked teeth.

Stress and quarantining brought on by the pandemic are definitely rough for our mental well-being, but dentists are seeing more evidence that our oral health is suffering too.

“People have been skipping their dental appointments and staying home because of the pandemic, which means they are falling behind on their regular checkups,” said local dentist Dr. Casey Lynn of Smile Lynn Pediatric Dentistry in Apollo Beach. “People have also been doing a lot more stress-eating throughout the day, so I’m seeing more patients come in with cavities. Our cavity numbers have shot through the roof. We are also seeing a lot of teeth grinding happening from stress too.”

Brushing and flossing are down as good habits slip and social outings decline. People with tooth pain delayed going to the dentist, hoping it would go away, which is a bad idea even if there weren’t a pandemic happening.

“Increased sweets and carbs and then not going to your regularly scheduled dentist appointment for your cleaning can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums,” Dr. Lynn said.

One in five adults have visited a dentist office amid the pandemic, even though two in five adults said they’ve had dental issues since March, according to a survey released in August by Guardian Life. It said one in four U.S. adults won’t be comfortable going to the dentist by the end of the year (www.usatoday.com).

“Dentists are the most prepared medical field to deal with airborne diseases because we’ve been fighting airborne diseases our entire careers,” Dr. Lynn said. “We are now screening everyone who comes into our office. We are spacing out our appointment times and have slowed down our office a little to make sure our patients and staff [are] safe. All of [our] patients’ appointments are now an hour long so we have time to make sure the exam rooms are cleaned thoroughly in between each patient. Dentists’ offices are safe, so there is no need to skip your dental appointments and fall behind on your oral health.”

To learn more about the services offered at Smile Lynn Pediatric Dentistry, visit www.smilelynndental.com or call 591-3052. Dr. Lynn’s office is located at 122 Harbor Village Ln. in Apollo Beach.