Since the pandemic started, medical scientists have seen a rise in the number of patients coming to the clinic complaining of jaw joint pain. They have also witnessed the repercussions of teeth grinding in the general population. Teeth grinding or bruxism is a medical condition where the patient unknowingly clenches or grinds their upper and lower teeth. This usually happens during sleep, and many who suffer from it are entirely oblivious to the disease. We can all agree that the entire world has been under a lot of stress because of the pandemic. People are stressed about their health, finances and even because of the lockdown, and this stress has been implicated as the leading cause of bruxism.
Chronic and habitual teeth grinding eventually leads to loss of the tooth structure as it deteriorates the teeth. When the upper and lower teeth grind against each other, heavy forces are generated, creating friction. This causes the upper protective layer, the enamel of the tooth, to wear off. Slowly, the nerves of the tooth also get exposed, leading to pain and sensitivity. This compromises the structural integrity of the tooth, making it more prone to fracture. The vertical height may also reduce. If you think you might be suffering from bruxism, it is crucial to schedule a visit with a dentist as soon as possible. Our dentist will examine you and help you manage this condition with the help of various dental procedures and appliances. Stress management is also vital for a complete cure.
Symptoms Of Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)
The jaw joint or the temporomandibular joint is located in front of the ear and is one of the most complex joints in the human body. Many muscles and ligaments are attached to this joint. The jaw joint connects the lower jaw to the skull (temporal bone). All these functions together to ensure proper movement of the jaws. It is the complexity of the jaw joint which makes chewing, swallowing and speaking possible. However, even if one component of the jaw joint does not function as it should, it can lead to temporomandibular disorders (TMD).
Symptoms of the temporomandibular disorder include:
- Jaw pain which is generalized to the entire jaw, concentrated especially near the jaw joint.
- Tightness of the face muscles.
- Neck and face soreness.
- Inability to move your jaw without pain.
- Clicking and grinding sensation is felt when you try to open your mouth wide.
- Headaches which primarily involve the temple region.
Consult our board-certified dentist if you are facing any of the above problems.
Treatment For TMD At Our Clinic
Once you schedule an appointment at our clinic, our dentist will do a complete examination of your teeth, jaw, and jaw joint. They may also take some x-rays to determine the cause of your problem. Once they have affirmed that you have a temporomandibular disorder, they will advise you further about the treatment plans.
Our dentists are using various dental procedures and appliances to treat TMD and Bruxism during the covid-19 pandemic. These procedures include the following:
Nightguards – Our dentist may prescribe you a nightguard, which is made from clear medical-grade soft plastic. The purpose of a nightguard is to keep the upper and lower teeth separate while you sleep. This will prevent any further damage to the teeth. However, it is a must to note that night guard is not a cure; it is a preventive measure.
If you feel exceptionally stressed while playing sports or doing physical activity, a sports mouth appliance may be prescribed to prevent teeth grinding action.
Pain medications and muscle relaxants are also used for pain relief initially.
To ensure that your condition is resolved entirely, our dentist may refer you to a skilled specialist for physiotherapy and advice you to consult a behavioural expert for proper stress management.
Contact us today with any questions or to book an appointment.
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.