A Silent byproduct of the pandemic:
Stress is causing a spike in chipped and cracked teeth
More than 70% of dentists reported an increase of patients with teeth grinding and clenching problems this past year, according to an ADA survey. While 63% reported an increase in chipped and cracked teeth, and 62% reported an increase in temporomandibular joint disorder in the study released March 2nd. The conditions are widely associated with stress. Most patients don’t know they have a problem until someone else points it out because they do it subconsciously or in their sleep.
Clenching and grinding teeth are different things.
Clenching is simply forceful, silent pressure on the jaws and teeth between the top and lower rows. Grinding occurs when the lower jaw is tightened and moves sideways against the upper jaw. Grinding teeth often leave distinct patterns of wear that can be seen only during a dental exam.
Treatments for teeth grinding can range from mouth guards to Botox injections, usually administered by an oral surgeon. Botox limits the mobility of muscles in the jaw responsible for the grinding; injections typically last for up to six months, according to the ADA.
An early warning sign that you may be clenching or grinding your teeth: jaw pain – and feeling fatigued after waking up in the morning. It’s not only adults who have this problem. One in three children grind their teeth at night because they are under so much stress.
Ultimately the problem won’t go away until addressing the stress and finding ways to deal with the stress.
At the Havrilla Center for Periodontics and Dental Implants, we utilize Botox injections into the masseter and temporalis muscles to relieve the amount of pressure that can be applied while clenching. It also works for migraines. We also use occlusal guards for night time grinding/clenching.
If you have a periodontal/dental implant condition, it’s important to receive treatment before it becomes a dental emergency. At the Havrilla Center for Periodontics & Dental Implants located in Broomall, PA, attending to your comfort and concerns is our first priority. Our mission is to provide you with the highest quality of periodontal and dental implant care in a warm and friendly environment.