If there’s ever been a year where people can say, “I understand what you’re doing through,” and mean it – it is 2020. This year has had a negative impact on just about everyone. Whether it has been financial, professional, or relational, there are not many who have escaped this year unscathed.
Many dental practices were closed for weeks, or even months, and could not see patients in person. When practices were allowed to open back up, many dentists reported several troublesome occurrences among their patients. “Mask mouth,” cavities, and teeth grinding were the most popular issues among dental patients. Mask mouth is caused by wearing a mouth covering for hours at a time and breathing in recirculated air constantly, and the increase in cavities is from many people “stress eating” while they have been on lockdown.
However, another problematic dental issue that has increased in numbers is teeth grinding. Also called bruxism, teeth grinding is an involuntary reaction to stress. Most commonly, it occurs during the night while people are sleeping, but some people grind their teeth during the day when they feel stressed.
Teeth grinding puts an enormous amount of stress on the teeth. If you find that you constantly wake up with headaches or jaw pain, this is an indication that you are grinding your teeth at night. Another indicator of bruxism is the wearing down of your tooth enamel. While tooth enamel is the hardest substance inside the human body, it is not invincible. Due to the amount of pressure that bruxism puts on the teeth, the tooth enamel will wear down over time. If you have teeth that feel “flattened” or appear to be changing shape, it is important for you to visit your dentist.
According to The Bruxism Association, stress levels are the strongest predictor of bruxism, implicated in 70% of cases. If stress is wearing you down and negatively impacting your smile, please contact Montevallo Family Dentistry today. We want to help you protect your greatest accessory – your smile.
Posted on behalf of Montevallo Family Dentistry