COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone globally. It has been a critical factor of stress for many during the last year and continues to be one of the most stressful things, and rightfully so. People everywhere are stressed and anxious about their health, their work and because of the lockdown. Many have not seen their family for months. All this has contributed to elevated stress and anxiety levels, and because of this, health professionals are seeing a rapid increase in patients who are suffering from bruxism and temporomandibular disorders (TMD).
BRUXISM is more commonly known as teeth grinding or jaw clenching, which usually happens at night. A person suffering from bruxism may not even be aware of this activity and the damage it creates. The leading cause of teeth clenching is stress and the anxiety which comes with it. Teeth grinding and teeth clenching tends to be a natural response of the body to stress. If you are going through continuous stress, be it mental or physical, there are high chances that you may experience teeth clenching, TMD and oral pain associated with it. The effects of bruxism can be devastating and compromise the sanctity of your mouth.
How Bruxism And TMD Affects You?
The temporomandibular joint that is the jaw joint connects the lower jaw to the skull. This joint is responsible for backward, forward, side to side of our jaw. Various ligaments and muscles are attached to this joint which facilitates its functions. Due to the complex nature of this joint, any problems with the bone structure, ligaments or muscles of this joint can lead to temporomandibular disorders (TMD).
Dentists all around the globe see the damage done to the teeth due to teeth clenching. Habitual teeth grinding puts undue pressure on the teeth causing it to wear down rapidly as it grinds against each other. This thins the tooth’s enamel and can even expose the nerve of the tooth. This leads to sensitivity and pain. It also leads to loss of tooth structure which reduces the vertical dimension of the face.
Apart from this, teeth grinding and other temporomandibular disorder also cause pain in the jaw which can radiate to the neck and the region in front of the year. Habitual bruxism can also cause headaches, especially near the temple region. You may also hear clicking and grinding sounds when you try to open your mouth wide.
This where our dental professionals can help you cure this problem. At our Kitchener dental clinic, we offer specific dental procedures and appliances which can help you manage the effects of TMD. Combining dental approaches with stress management is vital in the management of bruxism.
Treatment For TMD
Suppose you are facing symptoms of TMD and bruxism, schedule an appointment with us at our dental clinic. After you schedule an appointment with us, our dentist will carry out a complete oral examination. They may also take some x-rays to diagnose the root cause of the problem. If you are diagnosed with TMD, a custom treatment plan will be created for you, which may include:
NIGHT GUARDS are custom-made for each patient from soft clear acrylic, ensuring a firm fit. These night guards keep the upper and lower teeth separate at night. This protects the teeth from further damage.
SPORTS MOUTH APPLIANCE is used in patients who have a habit of grinding their teeth during sports activity or while performing a physically stressful task. In such cases, a sports mouth appliance will prevent injury.
PAIN MEDICATION can be given for a short time for temporary relief.
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.