Dental community encourages a return to routine check-ups

Dr. Aaron Quitmeyer, an oral surgeon in Rockingham County, has noticed more patients with jaw pain, clenching, and grinding over the last year.
Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 9:37 PM EDT
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - According to the Virginia Dental Association (VDA), a report from the Health Policy Institute at the American Dental Association found nearly a quarter of practices in the commonwealth are seeing fewer people in dentist chairs, and some practices are seeing a decrease in patients by 15% to 24%.

Dr. Aaron Quitmeyer is an oral surgeon at Shenandoah Oral & Facial Surgery in Rockingham County. He said getting back to the dentist is crucial.

“Now is the time to get back into your dentist for your annual visits. You don’t want to sit and neglect these issues,” Quitmeyer said.

The VDA has teamed up with the Virginia Department of Health to remind people to go to the dentist.

Quitmeyer said there may be many reasons for people not visiting their dentist, but said poor oral health can lead to increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease as well as cause problems for diabetics.

“There is a clear connection between your oral health and your systemic health, and it is important to stay in front of issues and have a proper care and treatment,” Quitmeyer said.

In his practice, Quitmeyer said he hasn’t necessarily seen a decrease in people coming in, but said they are seeing new issues.

“Most specifically we have seen an uptake in the past year of people with jaw pain, clenching, grinding because it has been a stressful year,” Quitmeyer said.

He said it is critical to stay on top of your oral health before it becomes an emergency.

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