The coronavirus pandemic has led to significant stress and anxiety since it started. During this crisis, health scientists have also observed a steady rise in the number of patients who come to the clinic complaining of jaw joint pain and teeth grinding. Dental professionals all around the world are a witness to the ramifications of teeth grinding. Bruxism is the medical terminology for teeth grinding or jaw clenching. Bruxism is a chronic medical condition where the patients unknowingly clench or grinds their upper and lower teeth. This activity usually takes place during sleep. Many times the sufferer is not even aware of this activity until they start feeling pain. It is known that the most common and significant reason for bruxism is stress. If you are going through some stress, be it mental or physical, you are at risk of developing the habit of teeth grinding. The covid-19 crisis has been a significant cause of stress for everyone in recent times. We are stressed about our health, job, finances, and the well-being of our family. Therefore, the rise in bruxism cases can be attributed to the stress this pandemic has caused.
Effects Of Bruxism
Chronic teeth grinding put massive forces on the teeth. These undue forces lead to the loss of tooth structure. Bruxism leads to loss of enamel from the teeth as the grinding actions create friction. With time, the upper protective layer that is the enamel of the tooth to wear off. This weakens the tooth structure making it prone to breakage. Soon, it will lead to pain and sensitivity. It also affects the chewing ability of a person. The loss of vertical tooth height also changes the vertical height of the face. Slowly, the nerves of the tooth also get exposed, leading to pain and sensitivity. Therefore, if you are suffering from bruxism, it is of utmost importance that you schedule an appointment at our clinic. Our excellent dentists will help you overcome this condition. The road to a stress-free life starts with self-care. Our dentist may also advise you to consult a therapist for proper stress management as it is vital for a complete cure.
What Is The Temporomandibular Joint?
The temporomandibular joint or the jaw joint is situated right in front of the ear. Several muscles and ligaments are attached to this joint. These attachments permit the jaw movements in the forward, backward and side to side direction. It is because of this flawless functioning that we can talk, chew and swallow. The jaw joint happens to be one of the most complex joints in the human body. If a problem develops in the muscle, ligament or the bone of the jaw joint, it leads to temporomandibular disorder (TMD)
Symptoms Of Temporomandibular Disorder
Pain and soreness of the jaw joint is the most common symptom. The pain starts from the front of the ears and radiates to involve the neck and the entire jaw. It can also cause stiffness of the face and neck. This is accompanied by clicking and grinding sensation, which is felt when you try to open your mouth or yawn. TMD can also lead to headaches, which are generally localized to the temple region.
Treatment For TMD And Bruxism
During your first appointment at our clinic, our dentist will do a complete and thorough examination of your teeth, jaw and jaw joint. Our dentist may also take some x-rays to determine the exact cause of the problem you are facing. Once they have concluded that you have a temporomandibular disorder, they will create a treatment plan specifically for you. Dentist at our clinic use various dental procedures and appliances for managing bruxism and TMD:
NIGHT GUARD – the function of a nightguard to keep the upper and lower teeth separate while you sleep. This will prevent any further damage to your teeth. Nightguards are made out of transparent medical-grade soft plastic.
Next, SPORTS MOUTH APPLIANCE may be prescribed to prevent teeth grinding activity when you play sports or do intense physical activity.
Pain medications and muscle relaxants are also used for pain relief for a short amount of time.
DISCLAIMER: The advice offered is intended to be informational only and generic in nature. It is in no way offering a definitive diagnosis or specific treatment recommendations for your particular situation. Any advice offered is no substitute for proper evaluation and care by a qualified dentist.