29 October 2020
Bruxism is a common condition that develops in many people in response to stress. The symptoms typically include grinding of the teeth or clenching the teeth, straining the muscles of the jaw, neck, and face. Over time, Bruxism can easily lead to severe headaches and pain in the mouth and jaw. Unfortunately, this condition develops involuntarily, and about 10% to 20% of the population experience Bruxism symptoms at some point. While some experience Bruxism at night, others involuntarily clench or grind their dental structures in response to stress.
The COVID-19 situation is unprecedented and has had a tremendous impact on daily life for countless people. The pandemic and subsequent lockdown orders have forced many people to change their daily schedules, work from home, and manage their kids’ cyber-schooling. Dental practices across the country are noticing an increase in Bruxism symptoms among their patients that run in tandem with the COVID-19 outbreak.
Stress and Bruxism
The human body can develop many different responses to stress, and psychological factors play a major role in stress management as well. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown, many people have had to completely change their usual routines, resulting in many different stress factors. Some people are not sleeping as well or as long as they did prior to the outbreak. Others are coping with longer hours at work, depression due to losing their jobs, and other psychological stressors that may contribute to Bruxism symptoms.
Some dental experts predict that Bruxism rates could climb as high as affecting nearly 40% of the population in response to COVID-19, an almost double increase. This, in turn, could lead to a rise in dental emergencies, such as broken dental fixtures, cracked and broken teeth, toothaches, and periodontal disease in some cases. Bruxism can also lead to problems with the temporomandibular joint as well.
Coping With Bruxism
Most people who experience Bruxism symptoms do so unconsciously. They may suffer symptoms at night while asleep or involuntarily clench or grind their teeth in response to stress throughout the day. A mouthguard is one of the best preventative measures one can take to prevent dental injury from Bruxism. If you have been waking up with mouth or jaw pain, speak to your dentist about Bruxism in response to stress and your options for treating it.
In the event you sustain a dental injury such as a cracked or broken tooth due to stress-induced Bruxism, your usual dentist may not be available to see you for treatment as soon as you would like. Emergency Dental Service can help you find a local emergency dentist if you have sustained an injury from Bruxism. Contact us online or call 1-888-350-1340 to schedule emergency care as soon as possible near you.