Dentists have reported an increase in tooth clenching and grinding because the pandemic started.
The signs of tooth clenching and/or grinding (often known as bruxing or parafunction) can embrace ache within the tooth and gums, in addition to jaw joints and muscular tissues.
The ache it causes may be debilitating and considerably have an effect on your each day life.
Watch: Six soothing options to de-stress. Submit continues beneath.
We’re specialist dentists who train, analysis and practise within the areas of prosthodontics (Dale Howes) and group dentistry (Alexander Holden). Right here’s what it is advisable to find out about clenching and grinding your tooth.
Are you clenching your jaw proper now?
Our high and backside tooth are solely designed to fulfill after we want them to; for biting and chewing meals.
We naturally spend solely a small portion of the day chewing, with our high and backside tooth making contact with one another.
As you learn this text, take into consideration how, subconsciously, you’ve got positioned your tooth and jaws. Assuming you aren’t consuming or chewing whereas studying, your tooth needs to be aside if you’re relaxed, whether or not or not your lips and mouth are shut.
If we grind or clench greater than nature meant, the tooth can grow to be worn over time, whereas the jaw muscular tissues can grow to be fatigued and tight.
The jaw joints (generally known as the temporomandibular joints) attaching the decrease jaw to the cranium comprise a disc, which helps management the best way the jaw joints transfer.
This disc can grow to be distorted or dislocated, which might result in clicking, scale back perform and trigger ache.
So why can we grind our tooth?
Stress is without doubt one of the major contributing components.
After I (Alexander Holden) see sufferers who complain of soreness of their jaw joints and surrounding muscular tissues, or who’ve apparent indicators of grinding or put on on their tooth, I’ll ask about stress.
“No, I’m not confused in any respect!” is usually the reply, however then after we sit and speak about what’s actually going of their life, the sources of stress rapidly grow to be obvious.
Beginning a brand new job, challenges at residence or with household, or dealing with a life change are all widespread experiences that stress us greater than we realise. It’s not all the time simple to determine after we’re experiencing robust occasions.
What can we do about it?
Step one is changing into conscious you’re grinding and clenching, and making an usually unconscious behaviour into one which we are able to management and cease.