The Coronavirus pandemic has lasted longer than most people thought it would, and it’s clear that adjusting to COVID-19 will be the new normal. This means dealing with a constant barrage of stress with seemingly no end in sight.
Stress has an impact on nearly every aspect of your life, especially your health. Your oral health is no exception. Here’s what you need to know about stress, dental health, and what to do if you think anxiety about the Coronavirus is affecting your teeth.
The Effect of Stress on Your Dental Health
Unsurprisingly, an overabundance of stress has as significant an impact on your dental health as it does your life, relationships, and overall health and wellness. If you struggle with anxiety or are often overwhelmed by stress, you may develop a condition known as bruxism.
What Is Bruxism and What Does It Do?
Bruxism is a dental disorder that causes a person to clench and grind their teeth together, usually at night. This is generally done subconsciously, and the person is unaware that they are grinding or clenching their teeth.
Because your teeth can exert a whopping 200 pounds of pressure when you bite down, grinding your teeth together frequently can result in damage.
Complications of bruxism include but are not limited to:
- Cracked, chipped, or broken teeth. The pressure of your bite and the back and forth motion of the grinding can cause the tips of your teeth to chip away. In severe cases, bruxism can cause teeth to crack all the way through or break off.
- TMJ symptoms. TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is a serious jaw condition that can result in significant discomfort and difficulty with eating, talking, sleeping, and other daily activities. Bruxism can cause TMJ to develop in patients who don’t already have the condition and it can also result in the worsening of symptoms in patients who do already suffer with the disorder.
- Even if your teeth don’t crack or break and you don’t develop TMJ, bruxism can cause you to experience pain or discomfort every day. Sleeping may become difficult and you may wake up with headaches that are difficult to get rid of. Due to stress and lack of sleep, you may feel lethargic or irritable. Bruxism has the potential to not only affect the structure of your teeth, but also your physical and mental wellness.
What Your San Francisco Holistic Dentist Can Do to Help
Fortunately, there are a number of holistic and effective treatments available today for bruxism that can help you reduce the impact that stress, anxiety, and subsequent teeth grinding has on your quality of life.
TMJ treatments include orthodontic care to realign the bite, custom-fitted dental guards that can be worn at night to prevent grinding, and stress management techniques. Dr. Nammy can help you develop a treatment plan tailored specifically to your unique needs.
Contact Green Dentistry Today for Your Appointment
Are you suffering from increased stress due to the Coronavirus and need help getting tools to cope with life changes that aren’t going to let up anytime soon? Green Dentistry can help.
For an appointment to have your oral health assessed and to discuss your options to control teeth grinding and clenching caused by stress-induced bruxism, call now at (415) 433-0119. Or, book your appointment online now.