Have you noticed that you are waking up with headaches or you are experiencing more than usual jaw pain? A recent scientific study has shown a relationship between the Covid-19 pandemic and increased temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) and bruxism (teeth grinding). In a article published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, scientist in Israel and Poland conducted the same study on a combined 1,792 participants, both studies concluding that the pandemic "had adverse effects on the psychoemotional status" of the participants "resulting in the increase of their bruxism and TMD symptoms". It is well known that one of the causes of bruxism is stress or anxiety, so correlating that with the effects this pandemic has had on the world’s population emotional status makes sense. Personally, here at Oak Park Dental Studio, I have noticed not just an increase of grinding but an increase of fractured teeth!
Bruxism can be caused by stress, anxiety, tension, sleep apnea and some medications. This habit normally occurs during sleep, so most people are unaware of the habit until told by a partner or diagnosed from medical professional based off symptoms. Symptoms of this habit can include headaches, sore jaw or tenderness, tooth wear and sensitivity. If left undiagnosed and untreated bruxism can lead to sensitivity, tooth fractures, root canals or in some cases extractions. If you have noticed the onset or the increase of these symptoms make sure to reach out to your dentist. Most dental offices, including here at Oak Park Dental Studio, we can provide custom fitted night guards to help alleviate the discomfort and prevent any further damage.