The message from the dentist regarding novel coronavirus infection
First of all
I think we are all facing challenging times because of the coronavirus outbreak.
I am deeply sorry for the people who have died from this coronavirus and their families.
And I support all the front line workers who are treating coronavirus patients with great respect.
The aspect from dental diseases
Cavities and gum diseases are from infections caused by our own oral bacteria. Once your immune systems are weakened, your bacteria become active and cause pain and swelling.
Dental psychosomatic diseases such as Dental tongue pain(so called Burning mouth syndrome), TMJ disorder, cryptogenic toothache, taste disorder, occlusal discomfort syndrome are highly related to anxiety and depression.
The present situation may cause or exacerbate these symptoms because of the weakening immune systems from physical and psychological stresses, anxiety, and depression.
Furthermore, people with other illnesses and people who have a tendency of worrying may have higher risks of having such symptoms due to fear of getting infected and anxiety caused by financial difficulties.
I highly suggest easing your physical and psychological stresses by thinking of methods to relieve your stress and by exercising these methods.
The information of coronavirus is coming from TV and Social network everyday. Though it is important, it may cause anxiety and depression. Try to make more intentional time absent of coronavirus information during the day in order not to make our heads filled with so much information of coronavirus. Let’s focus on things not related to the coronavirus. If you enjoy it, your immune system will be boosted.
Strong anxiety negatively affects your mental and physical health. Anxiety and tension come at the same time. Easing your physical tension will lead to easing your mental tension. I strongly suggest you do something like stretching and excising inside your home. If it is possible, walk in a place where not many people are around. It is effective for blood flow, flexibility of muscle and joints, and maintaining functioning of the heart and lungs.
Of course, it is important to reduce your oral bacteria by taking care of your oral hygiene through brushing teeth, flossing teeth, and using an interdental brush for care between teeth and gums. Brush your tongue gently without harming it.
Now the important things we can do is avoiding crowded places, closed-contact settings, and closed spaces.
Additionally, we should wash our hands and fingers with soap or wipe them with alcohol and wear masks to not give the virus an opportunity of coming into the eyes, nose, or mouth.
Let’s overcome this challenge together !
Hiroyuki Wake, DDS, PhD
Clinical Professor, Tokyo Medical and Dental University , Japan.
Part time lecturer, Graduate School of Medicine and School of Medicine, Department of Cognitive Behavioral Physiology Chiba University, Japan. 21th April 2020