Every day doctors are learning more about COVID-19 and the varied impacts it has brought with it. Most recently, scientists have begun to look at the correlation between COVID-19 and facial pain.
Concerning, it isn’t just patients with COVID-19 who have begun complaining of increased facial pain and dental symptoms. Scientists have begun to attribute these symptoms to the nature of the pandemic itself.
Part of the concern here is that patients report an increase in teeth grinding, which can trigger pain. Doctors have noted that these reports are higher in people already suffering from high stress and anxiety levels. Another pain-inducing condition is jaw clenching.
This would have increased during the pandemic, resulting in patients with more symptoms than they had previously been forced to deal with. A study run by the Tel Aviv University sought to look into the root cause of this newest concern.
The study asked participants whether or not they were experiencing new or worsening symptoms and other relevant questions. They surveyed 1,800 people within Israel and Poland. Through this method, scientists confirmed that the constant stress and anxiety of this global situation was the root cause.
According to the study, the first lockdown in Israel resulted in an increase in facial pain. The numbers went from hovering around the 35% mark up to 47% during the pandemic. Additionally, jaw clenching reportedly rose by 15%, with teeth grinding up by 26%.
While this particular study was focused on Israel and Poland, scientists are firm in their statement that the findings could be applied on a global scale. It stands to reason that every nation will be facing the same concerns at the moment.
These results strongly suggest that the constant anxiety and stress of a global pandemic have had a negative impact on facial pain. As patients are forced to deal with the near-constant threat of illness, financial concerns, and other pandemic-related issues, their mental health deteriorates. It doesn’t take long for the physical symptoms of stress to follow, which in turn can cause physical pain and even permanent conditions if not treated accordingly.