The uncertainty about what will be the course of the coronavirus pandemic and how it will continue to affect our lives generates anxiety and stress in many people. Often, this restlessness is expressed in bruxism, a disorder that puts tension in the jaw and causes us to “grind” our teeth during the day or at night.
Bruxism causes headaches, jaw pain and, frequently, tooth fracture due to excessive pressure on the muscles and tissues of the teeth. Broken teeth appear to be another consequence of the pandemic; fortunately there are things you can do to avoid it.
In an article published by The New York Times, the dentist Tammy Chen, with a practice in New York, assured that he has treated more tooth fractures “in the last six weeks than in the last six years”, to the point that he attends three to three four cases a day on average, even six or more.
Dr. Chen explains that stress is not the only cause of this kind of epidemic of broken teeth, but also the poor posture in which many people tend to work from home, at makeshift desks, in bed or in shaky armchairs. which causes the shoulders to roll forward and the spine to bend into a “C”. “Poor posture during the day can translate into a grinding problem at night,” says the expert.
Additionally, the insomnia problems generated by the uncertainty that we are experiencing at this time keep the body in a sustained tension that makes rest impossible and is reflected in the teeth.
What can you do?
In addition to taking care of your dental hygiene and reducing the consumption of sugar and acidic beverages that can damage enamel, the expert suggests raising awareness about the stress we exert on the teeth. “Are your teeth touching right now? Even while reading this article? If so, it is a sure sign that you are hurting yourself, your teeth should not touch during the day unless you are actively eating and chewing food, ”he writes.
Chen advises getting a nighttime mouth guard and wearing it during the day, while going about your daily activities, if necessary. He also recommends that the computer be at eye level when you work and that you incorporate movements during your work routine, such as standing up, walking around the room or stretching your muscles.