Stress and Oral Health in Whitby
The year 2020 is one that will be discussed, studied and analyzed by many generations to come. Concerns over health, social unrest and financial stability are creating increased stress for many people, and stress is impacting their oral health.
High levels of stress and anxiety can often lead to bruxism, a condition that causes patients to grind or clench their teeth, usually without even knowing they’re doing it. Bruxism can cause serious jaw pain, damage fillings or crowns, and even cause teeth to crack. This is happening more and more these days – CNN recently spoke with multiple dentists in the United States that reported significant increases in the number of patients needing treatment for fractured teeth.
Stress is often more severe at night, when people are relaxing, watching television or sleeping. When someone is not fully conscious, their ability to control their movements and muscle tension is reduced or completely gone, and reactions to stress like tooth clenching or grinding can happen much more easily. If you have a partner, they may notice that you’re clenching or grinding your teeth while you sleep – sometimes they can hear it.
Bruxism is difficult to avoid on your own, but your Whitby dentist can offer solutions that can reduce the severity of your bruxism and even repair the damage that’s been done.
Here are some signs that you may be experiencing bruxism:
- Pain when you smile or brush your teeth
- Swelling in the mouth
- Waking up with pain or soreness on the side of your face
- Lingering jaw pain
If these are symptoms you’re experiencing, call the team at Downtown Whitby Dentistry right away. We’ve been working hard to ensure you’ll have a safe environment for treatment.
If there are any cracked teeth or damaged fillings or crowns, we can discuss the best course of action to repair them. It’s important to have this checked as early as possible, as slightly cracked teeth can often be repaired, but if left too long, the damage can get worse and the tooth may become unsalvageable.
Dr. J at Downtown Whitby Dentistry will recommend night guards for patients suffering from bruxism. These are built using a mold of your teeth so they fit your mouth perfectly, and are worn on either the top set of teeth or bottom set to prevent you from grinding your teeth and jaw together when you sleep.
We can assess whether you are experiencing bruxism, the extent of the damage, and develop a treatment plan that will help you feel better. If you’re experiencing symptoms of bruxism, please call Downtown Whitby Dentistry right away so we can help.