Purpose: To investigate the effects of COVID-19 fear on oral health status.
Keywords: Coronavirus, dental diseases, fear, habits, oral health
Materials and Methods: A total of 1227 participants were enrolled in the study. The online survey link was circulated and responses were received. The questionnaire comprised a total of 24 closed-ended questions, which were divided into three sections. The first section focused on demographic information, the second section on the fear of COVID-19, and the third section focused on oral hygiene habits, dental complaints, and tendency to go to the dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Results: Participants who had a higher fear score compared to other respective populations during the corona virus pandemic started brushing more regularly, started to use oral care products more regularly (p = 0.001), increased sugary food consumption (p = 0.001), increased meat consumption (p = 0.017), increased vegetable consumption (p = 0.019), had increased tooth hypersensitivity, had increased toothache, had increased swelling/abscess on face due to tooth decay (p = 0.001), had increased restoration failures, had increased problems with prostheses (p = 0.007), had increased bleeding and pain in the periodontal tissue, had increased oral malodor, had increased bruxism (p = 0.001), had a dental problem but hesitated to visit a dentist, and thought that dental clinics are at risk of COVID-19 contamination (p = 0.001).
Conclusion: Fear of COVID-19 was higher in participants who started to pay more attention to their oral hygiene habits, had a change in food consumption frequency and rate, had an increase in oral and dental health complaints, and had dental problems but hesitated to visit a dentist.