Northern Kentucky dentist says COVID-19 stress is causing increased cases of cracked teeth

People who grind their teeth in the middle of the night are not uncommon. But left unchecked, which has happened because of the pandemic, all those grinding teeth can cause real trouble.Dr. Shelley Shearer knows that better than most.Shearer, who has an office in Florence, said COVID-19-related stress is causing more people to grind their teeth more intensely while they’re sleeping.The result is a growing number of cases of cracked teeth.”Everyone’s stressed. They’re stressed about their job. They’re stressed about getting their kids to school. They’re stressed about money and they are grinding and clinching their teeth,” Shearer said.She said anyone with a cracked or chipped tooth will know something is wrong because they’ll feel a dull, aching pain in their mouth that can turn into a sharp pain quickly.It can be even worse for those who have a history of grinding their teeth, especially if they’ve avoided the dentist because they’ve been worried about getting infected with coronavirus.”Sometimes people, if they’ve been grinding and clenching for years, and then you add on this extra stress, now they’ve got, maybe, a fractured tooth that’s turned into – where they need a root canal or it needs to be taken out and they’re swollen,” Shearer said.Fortunately, there are other remedies besides just a root canal or a pulled tooth. Shearer said she can fit patients with a bite guard that they can wear while they’re sleeping or place a crown on a cracked tooth to help things get back to normal.Shearer also wants to reassure her patients that it’s as safe as it can be to come to her office for an appointment. She cited a recent report in the Journal of the American Dental Association that shows less than 1 percent of dentists nationwide have tested positive for COVID-19. The report said the result is “far below that of other health professionals in the U.S.”

People who grind their teeth in the middle of the night are not uncommon. But left unchecked, which has happened because of the pandemic, all those grinding teeth can cause real trouble.

Dr. Shelley Shearer knows that better than most.

Shearer, who has an office in Florence, said COVID-19-related stress is causing more people to grind their teeth more intensely while they’re sleeping.

The result is a growing number of cases of cracked teeth.

“Everyone’s stressed. They’re stressed about their job. They’re stressed about getting their kids to school. They’re stressed about money and they are grinding and clinching their teeth,” Shearer said.

She said anyone with a cracked or chipped tooth will know something is wrong because they’ll feel a dull, aching pain in their mouth that can turn into a sharp pain quickly.

It can be even worse for those who have a history of grinding their teeth, especially if they’ve avoided the dentist because they’ve been worried about getting infected with coronavirus.

“Sometimes people, if they’ve been grinding and clenching for years, and then you add on this extra

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Covid-19 is causing ‘unacceptable’ shortages in US drug supplies, report says

The report says shortages have limited 29 of 40 drugs critical for treating Covid-19 patients, including propofol, albuterol, midazolam, hydroxychloroquine, fentanyl, azithromycin and morphine, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. The FDA, which has more stringent criteria for shortages, show 18 of 40 are on the Drug Shortage list.

Another 67 out of 156 critical acute drugs — including diazepam, phenobarbital, lidocaine and acetaminophen — are in short supply, the report said.

“Drug shortages can be a matter of life and death, and some shortages mean that a life-saving drug is not available to U.S. patients at any price,” the authors wrote.

“The urgency with the drug shortage supply issue is related directly to the major increase in COVID-19 cases that we will experience in the coming months,” Michael Osterholm, the director of CIDRAP, said in a news release.

“This, in turn, will dramatically increase the need for specific COVID-19 treatment drugs, while at the same, COVID-19 is having a major impact on two of the three key drug manufacturing areas of the world, India and Italy,” Osterholm added.

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The pandemic has “jolted the global pharmaceutical market at all levels and production points” and exacerbated a problem that dates back several decades, researchers said.

Closed factories, shipping delays or shutdowns and trade limitations or export bans have severely impacted the supply side of the chain, the analysis concluded, while the pandemic has caused a dramatic increase in the global demand for Covid-19 therapies.

The drug shortage problem in the US isn’t new and remain a “perennial problem,” the authors wrote.

There’s been more than 250 drug shortages over the past few years, the study said, “many for critical medications, including both acute drugs for treating emergency situations and chronic drugs for managing serious long-term conditions.”

The shortages have been tracked in the US since 2001, but in two decades, there’s been no significant improvement, according to CIDRAP.

“What makes the drug shortage such a challenging crisis is that no one organization or agency oversees this situation and responds accordingly, not even the FDA,” Stephen W. Schondelmeyer, the director of the PRIME Institute at the University of Minnesota and co-lead report investiagtor, said in a statement.

“And no one area of the country is specifically hit with this problem as drugs will be allocated to those areas most in need, that is until everyone is in shortage status. Then we will have a national crisis.”

The report also suggests recommendations for combating drug shortages, including creating a new federal entity to track, analyze, predict, prevent and mitigate drug shortages.

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Nearly 8 in 10 report pandemic is causing mental health strain, poll shows

COVID-19, health care, the economy, systemic racism and the presidential election are a threat to the nation’s mental health, according to an American Psychological Association poll.

Seventy-eight percent of adults polled said the pandemic is causing major stress and 60% called the array of issues facing the country overwhelming.

And younger adults are really struggling, the poll revealed.
Respondents from Generation Z — those born since 1996 — pegged their stress level in the past month at a 6 on 10-point scale in which 1 represented “little to no stress” and 10 was “a great deal of stress.” That compared with an average stress level of 5 among all adults.

Nineteen percent of adults said their mental health is worse than it was a year ago.

That included 34% of Gen Z adults, 19% of millennials, who were born between 1977 and 1995, 21% of Gen Xers, who were born between 1965 and 1976, 12% of baby boomers, who were born between 1946 and 1964, and 8% of those born before 1946.

Gen Z adults were the most likely to report common signs of depression.
More than 7 in 10 said that in the last two weeks they were so tired that they sat around and did nothing, felt very restless, found it hard to think or concentrate, felt lonely, or felt miserable or unhappy.

“This survey confirms what many mental health experts have been saying since the start of the pandemic: Our mental health is suffering from the compounding stressors in our lives,” said Arthur Evans Jr., chief executive officer of the APA.
“This compounding stress will have serious health and social consequences if we don’t act now to reduce it,” he said in an association news release.

Evans noted that the youngest Americans are showing signs of serious mental health issues, including depression and anxiety.

The poll found that changes to school are a big stressor for Gen Zers. More than 8 of 10 teens said they have had negative impacts of school closures, and 51% said planning for the future seems impossible.

Among college students, 67% feel the same way about planning for the future. And 87% of Gen Z members in college said school is a significant source of stress.

“Loneliness and uncertainly about the future are major stressors for adolescents and young adults, who are striving to find their places in the world, both socially, and in terms of education and work. The pandemic and its economic consequences are upending youths’ social lives and their visions for their futures,” said survey researcher Emma Adam, a professor of education and social policy at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

Adam said public policy must address this generation’s need for social, emotional and mental health supports as well as financial assistance and educational and work opportunities. “Both comfort now and hope for the future are essential for the long-term well-being of this generation,” she said.

But most Americans aren’t getting the support they need. Among adults, 61% said

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Complacency May Be Causing Philly Coronavirus Spike: Officials

PHILADELPHIA — Coronavirus cases in Philadelphia are surging, following the trend seen across the state and nation. Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley floated a number of ideas as to what’s causing the spread, suggesting coronavirus fatigue and complacency could be factors.

During a news conference Tuesday, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said the city is seeing the highest weekly averages we’ve seen since mid May.

Farley reported 268 new cases Tuesday, bringing the total case count since the start of the pandemic to 40,704. Additionally, 23 new probable cases were identified through rapid antigen tests.

The weekend ending Oct. 17 had ab average of 184 cases per day, but that figure is likely to increase as labs report more data from the past week. The week ending Oct. 10 averaged 184 cases per day.

Case counts are higher in part because of increased testing. Farley reported an average of about 4,000 test per day in the past week.

He said about 2,600 tests were administered each day in mid July and about 1,5000 in May.

However, he said the percent of positive tests is increasing. Last week, the city averaged a 4.8 percent positive rate. As delayed reports come in, that number will increase, he said. The week before that, the city had a 5.1 percent positivity rate.

The lowest positivity rate was in mid September with 2.8 percent. In mid July, the positive rate 5.5 percent and it peaked in late May at 9.5 percent.

Eight more deaths were reported Tuesday, bringing the city’s death toll to 1,849. Of the 1,849 total deaths, 904 or 49 percent were long-term care facility residents. Farley went on to say that nursing homes and other facilities are seeing increased cases like the rest of the city, state, and country.

Farley said the city is averaging about 15 deaths per week.

The increased spread of the virus is occurring in households, family gatherings, social gatherings, and possibly work places.

“The risk is increasing now maybe because of the cold weather, maybe because of the drier air, maybe because people are indoors more because of the cold weather, or maybe because people are becoming more complacent or all those things combined,” he said. “Whatever though, it does appear that the virus is following the pattern of other respiratory viruses like influenza. These viruses tend to get more common throughout the fall and peak in January or February. If COVID follows that pattern, we’re going to be having a difficult time over the next three to four months.”

Through contact tracing, Farley said 17 percent of cases reported the week of Oct. 11 were working in an office when they were exposed. That figure is up from 7 to 9 percent in September.

He said in one instance, spread occurred between coworkers who ate lunch together and were not wearing masks.

“Any setting indoors when you’re close together not wearing masks is going to be a high risk setting, so work

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