One side effect we have seen from the COVID-19 pandemic is bruxism—or chronic grinding of the teeth. While not related to having the disease or not, more people than ever are worried about their jobs and futures, and that’s a recipe for clenching and grinding teeth, often without even noticing it.
Causes and Results of Bruxism
Of course, not every case of bruxism started during the pandemic; people have suffered from chronic stress long before COVID-19. When people worry during the day, some will then clench their jaws while they sleep, damaging their teeth and straining their jaw.
But some bruxism happens because a person’s bite was never aligned properly, through braces or other methods. Your upper and lower teeth might not rest comfortably against each other, causing you to unconsciously change your jaw position repeatedly while you sleep.
Bruxism can wear down the outermost layer of teeth, or it can even chip or crack the teeth. Tooth damage can allow bacteria to infiltrate the teeth and cause decay. The frequent jaw movement or tension of grinding can also wear out the jaw joints, causing headaches and other problems.
Dental Solutions for Bruxism
We’re concerned for our patients with bruxism, especially if they’re grinding and damaging their own teeth because of worries about COVID-19.
But there are some simple solutions to bruxism. Developing your own habits may help. You could talk to a counselor about your worries, go to a career center to look for a new career, or take up relaxing, enjoyable hobbies that relieve stress.
You can also visit Dr. Rosenfeld’s office for professional dental care. If you’re grinding your teeth while you sleep, we can create a customized night guard for you. This will comfortably fit over your teeth and prevent your teeth from grinding together, protecting them from damage. We can also recommend a multi-faceted plan that could improve your bite, relieve jaw pain, and more.
Stop Clenching and Grinding for Healthier Teeth and a Stronger Jaw
We’re all in this crisis together—you are not alone! If you feel unusual tension in your face or jaw joints, call Dr. Rosenfeld’s office. A visit with our friendly team in our beautiful Solana Beach wellness center may be what you need to relieve your stress and protect your teeth.