Have you been noticing more headaches lately? Jaw pain? Soreness in the teeth? You’re not alone. This crazy Covid world we’re living in has caused stress in itself, not to mention the myriad of trickle down effects it’s causing in all of our lives. And we’re seeing this stress-induced trend make itself known here at Gallery57Dental on a daily basis. More patients than we can count are coming in with these complaints. And the culprit? Bruxism. In other words, the grinding and/or clenching of the teeth.
Facts About Bruxism
Bruxism can cause lots of effects– the most common of which include the symptoms listed above (headaches, jaw pain, teeth soreness). But, if not addressed, it can cause serious dental issues over time. During these parafunctional movements, microcracks form in the teeth and eventually, if enough stress is applied and you bite into something the wrong way, the tooth can break. Depending on the severity of the fracture, treatments can range from simple bonding to extraction of the tooth. Other problems we see with long-time bruxers is wear of the teeth and issues with the TMJ (the joint that connects your jaw to your skull). Treatments for wear and TMJ disorders can include fabrication of a night guard.
Treating And Managing Teeth Grinding
The good news? For most patients, this stress-induced bruxism is just that– stress induced– and will likely go away on its own. In the meantime, some tips to manage this are staying away from hard/chewy foods, taking an anti-inflammatory such as Advil or Motrin, and most important, managing your stress! The best rest position for your mouth is to keep your lips together and teeth apart with your tongue gently resting on the roof of your mouth, away from the teeth.
If you’re experiencing stress-related jaw pain, please let us know! We’re here to help.