Dentists see increased teeth grinding, clenching; TMJ issues amid pandemic


(WFXR) — During the coronavirus pandemic, stress has been at an all-time high for many people, which is landing them in the dentist’s chair.

Dentists say they are seeing more people coming in for problems ranging from jaw pain to teeth grinding, as well as broken and chipped teeth.

The American Dental Association found 70 percent of dentists saw an increase of patients grinding and clenching their teeth while they were awake and asleep.

According to dentists, this widespread problem is associated with stress.

The study also shows that 62 percent of patients are suffering from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction symptoms, including headaches and jaw pain.

Dentists say people are taking out their stress and anxiety on their teeth, which can lead to expensive tooth extractions, crowns, and corrective surgeries down the road.

However, it’s an easy habit to fix, which is why dentists offer the following advice:

  • Unless you’re eating or swallowing, remind yourself that your teeth are not supposed to touch when you’re awake.
  • Consider getting a nighttime mouth guard.
  • If you feel your jaw clenching up throughout the day when you are confronted with a stressful situation, relax your face and give your jaw muscles a massage.
  • Add an exercise or a relaxing routine right before bed to help get rid of tension.

If you experience any type of discomfort, make sure you talk to your doctor immediately.

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