Is COVID-19 making you grind your teeth? Your Fort Lauderdale dentist can help protect your smile.

In a recent survey by the  American Dental Association (ADA) Health Policy Institute, more than 70 percent of dentists surveyed are seeing an increase of patients experiencing teeth grinding and clenching, conditions often associated with stress. This is an increase from the fall when the ADA data reported that just under 60 percent of dentists had seen an increase among their patients.  It is common for some people to clench their teeth when they are stressed. You may not even notice that you are grinding your teeth.  Some people with no history of teeth grinding may start nighttime grinding if they’ve been more stressed than usual. “As the pandemic continues, dentists are seeing stress-related dental conditions more and more,” said Marcelo Araujo, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., ADA chief science officer. “It’s more important than ever for people to maintain their dental health, including seeing the dentist regularly to address any issues that could have long-term impact.” 

What is bruxism?

Bruxism is a condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth. If you have bruxism, you may unconsciously clench or grind your teeth. You may not even be aware that you are doing it until you develop other symptoms such as a chipped tooth, pain in your jaw or ear, or notice your teeth are becoming worn. Bruxism causes premature wear on the teeth (attrition) and stresses the gums, often causing receding gums, abfraction and tooth sensitivity. Abfraction is the loss of tooth structure where the tooth and gum come together. The damage is wedge-shaped or V-shaped and is unrelated to cavities, bacteria, or infection. During your regular check-up, your dentist may see signs of bruxism and talk to you about treatment options. 




Signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:

If you experiencing some of the above symptoms, schedule a visit to your Fort Lauderdale dentist to see if you’re grinding your teeth at night. Untreated teeth grinding can cause accelerated wear to your smile and lead to tooth and jaw pain. Your dentist in Fort Lauderdale is able to detect signs of grinding and come up with a treatment plan to protect your teeth.

What is a night guard?

Teeth grinding is a common condition that dentists treat regularly. If you are mainly grinding your teeth at night, your dentist may recommend a night guard to wear while you sleep. Your night guard is custom-made to fit comfortably in your mouth. They are highly effective at protecting your teeth and could actually stop the grinding completely. 


If your teeth grinding is happening during the day then you may want to take measures to reduce your stress levels. Exercise, meditation, and deep breathing are all simple steps to take to reduce stress. 

Some people’s teeth grinding may be caused by factors other than stress. Increased caffiene intake,  neurological conditions, or certain medications can cause grinding. Teeth that misaligned can also cause you to unconciously grind your teeth.

Staying up to date on your dental check-ups is more important that ever - even during the pandemic! Your dentist at Excellence in Dentistry in Fort Lauderdale is trained to detect signs of teeth grinding.  We are here to repair any damage due to your bruxism as well as provide treatment to protect your teeth in the future. Schedule your dental check-up with Dr. Gerard Wasselle or Dr. Nancy Rotroff by calling 954-928-1666.

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