The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry recently wrote about the link between the coronavirus and cracked or damaged teeth from the stress associated with the pandemic. Remote school, quarantine fatigue, employment worries, social distancing, masks and so many new challenges have resulted in stress-related dental issues across the globe.
Dental Consequences of Stress
When stressed, many of us unconsciously clench or grind our teeth, ultimately experiencing neck or jaw tension and even minor headaches. Known as bruxism, this condition is considered a sleep-related movement disorder even though some of us experience tooth stress during the day. As a result of all that grinding or clenching, you may experience flattened, fractured or chipped teeth. Since damaged teeth can become infected, they need to be examined, even if it’s not time for your regular dental or periodontal visit.
Other less obvious signs and symptoms of bruxism include:
We recommend custom-created nightg uards for all our dental implant patients to protect their investment against the potential damage caused by bruxism and/or TMJ (temporomandibular joints) dysfunction. Night guards are great for anyone who is grinding or clenching in their sleep. The process is very simple—we take an impression of your teeth and our lab creates a comfortable, unobtrusive, custom night guard you’ll wear at night. Patients who have been experiencing tooth fatigue often note an almost immediate lessening of symptoms. Some patients even wear these guards during the day while driving, gardening or doing paperwork, for example, so they enjoy the added relief it provides.
As periodontists, our ultimate goal is to enhance and protect your oral health. Addressing stress with exercise, meditation, eating and sleeping well can help. During these challenging times, it’s more important than ever to take special care of ourselves. Stay healthy and call us at 215-677-8686 to book an appointment today.