This past year has understandably been stressful for everyone due to the global Coronavirus pandemic and the everyday stresses that we are all faced with. Stress eventually takes its toll on the human body. The most obvious symptoms of stress that many of us have experienced during the pandemic are headaches, low energy, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations. The use of masks and face shields to reduce the spread of Covid-19 has made it hard to detect some of the most seen problems during the pandemic: Teeth grinding and broken teeth from stress.
What is Teeth Grinding?
The technical term for “teeth grinding” or “jaw clenching” is bruxism. It connotes the unknowing grinding, gnashing, or clenching of one’s teeth. The majority of people who grind their teeth are unaware that they are doing so as most people grind their teeth while asleep. There is a direct correlation between broken teeth and teeth grinding as grinding produces additional tension on teeth that teeth are designed to withstand. The more you grind your teeth or clench your jaw, the more likely it is that you will suffer a broken tooth.
Teeth grinding and broken teeth from stress
People have attempted to understand what leads people to grind their teeth and ultimately, break or fracture them. From “Coronaphobia” to “Covid-19-induced nightmares” to “doomsurfing”, these words all describe the anxiety many have faced as a result of the pandemic. Numerous dentists have attested to the fact that they have seen more patients with fractured teeth during the pandemic than ever before which indicates that while stress takes its toll on us, most of us take it out on our dentition. In fact, we have seen multiple catastrophic visits of tooth fracture at the Dental Care Group over the last year and the number of fractured teeth has increased exponentially over the same period.
Just like you, with more vaccinations, it is our hope that we have seen the worst of the Covid-19 virus. And you know what that means? On a positive note, masks are coming off! It’s time to show your expression and smile again. If you’ve been grinding your teeth, I’m sure that thought scares you. Perhaps, when you examine your teeth now, you notice that they all look remarkably similar because they have been ground down or broken. Not to worry, as usual as dentists, we have solutions and here are a few tips that can help.
Tips to address teeth grinding and broken teeth from stress
The first tip to address teeth grinding and broken teeth is awareness. Many people would bet their life that they do not grind their teeth, but they do. Do not be one of them. For example, did you know that except when eating or chewing, your teeth shouldn’t touch all day?
2. Visit a dentist:
Our dentists at the Dental Care Group are skilled healthcare professionals that know all aspects of dental health and are best suited to address your teeth grinding and broken teeth questions and or concerns. Please use the internet to gather information, but not as a replacement for visiting your dentist.
3. Correct your posture:
Sometimes, working from home can result in teeth grinding and broken teeth. When you work from home, you are at liberty to assume any sitting position that you desire. This could easily affect you and result in you grinding and or breaking your teeth during the night.
4. Consult your dentist about a bruxism (grinding) appliance or a Invisalign retainer to keep your teeth in place and minimize the damage from grinding.
Teeth grinding or broken teeth may be responsible for some of your ailments such as headaches or even insomnia. Apply the tips we have outlined as soon as possible so that now that it’s finally time to take your mask off, you can smile with confidence.