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Posted on: November 2, 2020
Has Corona Caused You to Crack Your Teeth?
The New York Times has reported a surprising result of the coronavirus shutdown: an increase in bruxism and the cracked teeth that occur as a result of it. This is attributed to the increasing number of people working from home, which results in additional stress. Bruxism also causes a lack of sleep and poor posture as well as erosion of your dental enamel and migraine headaches.
Is Bruxism Curable?
Bruxism is the term for clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth, and since it’s not a disease, there is no cure. However, you can eliminate the factors that contribute to its onset. Most people aren’t aware that they have bruxism unless their dentist or sleep partner has advised them of it.
When bruxism exists for an extended time, it can cause severe damage to your teeth and jaw. Factors that can increase the likelihood of developing bruxism include:
- Your Age: Many children under the age of 6 have bruxism.
Additional Health Conditions: Those who have ADHD, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and sleep apnea have a higher incidence of bruxism.
- Emotional Volatility: Bruxism is more common in individuals who are aggressive, competitive, or hyperactive.
- Ingested Substances: Bruxism is more common among those who use alcohol, caffeine, or tobacco, and some prescription medications have been linked to bruxism.
Can Daytime Bruxism Be Stopped?
If you clench your jaw and grind your teeth during the day, then relaxation techniques may help you. These daytime reactions are probably triggered by anger, anxiety, frustration, stress or tension, so practicing relaxation techniques can lower your stress level and reduce the need to clench and grind your teeth. If you smoke, then quit because smoking can exacerbate the issues with bruxism. Reduce your intake of alcohol and caffeine, and practice meditation or listening to soothing music. At night, taking a walk or a warm bath may help. Finally, don’t smoke before you go to bed.
Can My Dentist Help With Bruxism?
Your dentist is an excellent resource for bruxism solutions. They can provide you with helpful suggestions to reduce your anxiety and stress, and they can provide you with a custom-fitted night guard that will help alleviate the symptoms associated with bruxism.
Will a Night Guard Prevent Bruxism?
A night guard won’t prevent bruxism, but it will protect your teeth and jaw from the damaging effects of grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw.
How Will a Night Guard Help?
A night guard will restore the proper space that should be between your upper and lower jaw. When your teeth and jaws are in proper alignment, they’ll be less impacted by grinding than if they weren’t protected. You’ll be less likely to erode your tooth enamel, and you’ll reduce the likelihood of needing a root canal or other expensive dental repairs.
What Kind of Condition Is TMJ Syndrome?
TMJ syndrome is a disorder of the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. The name of the joint is the temporomandibular joint, thus the name for the disorder. It usually occurs as a result of bruxism or injury to the face. Symptoms of TMJ problems include:
- Clicking or popping noises when you try to open or close your mouth
- Having your jaw stuck in one position
- Pain or sensitivity in the areas of your ear, face, jaw, neck, or shoulders
- Trouble with chewing or opening your mouth
- Sharp pain when biting down
- Swelling on one side of the face
Does a Night Guard Help Cure TMJ Problems?
The issues that cause problems with TMJ can be eliminated. Since TMJ syndrome is usually caused by bruxism or trauma to the face, a night guard can protect your teeth and jaws from the damaging effects of bruxism. You’ll have more restful sleep and less pain or discomfort in the morning. Your doctor or dentist can help you address any facial trauma you may have incurred.
Will a Night Guard Prevent Jaw Clenching?
A custom-fitted night guard will provide the space that should be between your upper and lower jaw, so it will protect your teeth and jawbone from the harmful effects of clenching your jaw. In order to prevent bruxism, you need to address the issues that cause it.
Where Do I Get a Custom Night Guard?
Generic night guards are available from your local drug store or pharmacy, but for a custom-fitted night guard, contact your dentist. Although a generic model may be cheaper initially, the custom-fitted night guard will be of superior quality, it won’t fall out at night, it will last longer, and it will be more comfortable.
How Much Will It Cost for a Custom Night Guard for Bruxism?
The cost for your custom-fitted night guard will depend on the type of appliance you select, the materials used for its fabrication, and your insurance coverage, but we’ll provide you with a cost estimate during your appointment. Often, most or all of the cost of a custom-fitted night guard will be paid by the insurance company as long as it’s deemed medically necessary, so you may have very little out-of-pocket expense.
If you need a custom-fitted mouth guard, then call Drs. Grant and Conger at (706) 847-4165 and schedule an appointment. We do our best to ensure that our patients are comfortable and at ease during their visit, so don’t stress about going to the dentist. Call us today to get started on your custom-fitted night guard and alleviate the damage done by bruxism to your teeth and jaws. We look forward to working with you.