- Dentists are seeing a rise in cracked teeth amid the pandemic.
- Some theorize the added stress and anxiety is leading to more people grinding their teeth.
- Bruxism, better known as teeth grinding, can cause tension headaches and tooth fractures.
- Mouthguards and therapy for stress are the top treatments for teeth grinding.
Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, dentists around the globe are facing an increase in the incidence of tooth fractures. The reason behind the rise can be the ongoing pandemic that is causing anxiety, thereby affecting mental health. The stress may cascade to “clenching and grinding” that can damage teeth.
Dr. Tammy Chen, prosthodontist, and owner of Central Park Dental Aesthetics in Midtown Manhattan says “I’ve seen more tooth fractures in the last six weeks than in the previous six years.”. In an interview with the New York Times, she says that she reported at least one fracture every day since reopening in June.
"On average, I'm seeing three to four; the bad days are six-plus fractures."She added.
From the fear of contracting the virus to grief over lost family members and friends, lots of people have been coping with ‘Elevated Stress’. This can lead to Bruxism.
Another reason can be ‘Bad Posture’."The awkward body positions due to the ‘work from home adjustments’ can cause people to hunch their shoulders forward, curving the spine into something resembling a C-shape," Chen says. The curved spine can put pressure on the temperomandibular joint. This added pressure on TMJ during the day can also lead to teeth clenching at night, advised this increasing the chances of tooth fractures.
Patients should be advised to therapy to relieve any mental stress and wearing a mouthguard at night as preventive measures.