Living during a pandemic has brought on a lot of stress, anxiety, and depression to many. We have had to learn to navigate through what is now our “new normal”.
And these feelings can impact our overall health. But, when you think about how stress, anxiety, and depression can affect your body, your mind may not first jump to thinking about your oral health.
However, the mental health symptoms that many have developed over the last few years due to COVID-19 can cause some serious dental health issues.
So, what dental symptoms and conditions should you be looking out for so your oral health stays at its best this year? We’ve got all the information for you today.
What is Bruxism?
If you are angry, afraid, or stressed out, it is a common reaction to clench or grind your teeth. Look back at a time when you felt any of those intense emotions and maybe it will even trigger you to clench your teeth even to think of the memory. It is an involuntary reaction you have.
But, when you are clenching and grinding your teeth repeatedly throughout the day when you aren’t responding to an immediate stressor, this is known as bruxism.
There are also those who experience sleep bruxism, but it is much less common than awake bruxism. If you experience sleep bruxism you won’t grind or clench your teeth the entire night, instead, you will have episodes where you do ranging from very few to up to 100.
Symptoms of Bruxism can include:
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Flattened, fractured, chipped, or loose teeth
- Worn tooth enamel
- Sensitive teeth
- Tired or tight jaw muscles
- Jaw, neck, or face pain
- Pain that feels like an earache- and have ruled out earache
- Dull headache starting in the temples
- Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
- Sleep disruption-and have ruled out other sleep issues
Bruxism and COVID-19
Bruxism is known to be caused by an increase in stress and anxiety. Anger and frustration building up can also be reasons that you can be clenching and grinding your teeth. COVID-19 has caused a lot of emotions to be stirred up within all of us, so there is no question why there has been an increase in bruxism during this time.
But, the issue with bruxism doesn’t just end with a simple tooth grinding or clenching. Bruxism can cause bigger oral health issues if not resolved in a timely manner.
What to do about Bruxism?
If you feel that you have symptoms of bruxism, it is important to come into your local Lindale dentist as soon as possible to be checked out to make sure that your symptoms do not persist.
Teeth grinding or clenching can lead to things like severe damage to your natural teeth enamel, cracks in your teeth, or restoration work. And it can even lead to a disorder in the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) which is commonly referred to as TMJD.
Besides these more serious disorders, bruxism can cause you to experience headaches and facial pain, which is not something you ever want to live with.
Schedule an Appointment
We never want our patients to live with any unnecessary pain. If you feel that you may be experiencing bruxism, give The Center for Implant and General Dentistry a call.
We will evaluate you and come up with a treatment plan to treat your bruxism and get your oral health back on track. Give us a call today, (903) 231-6605.