Pandemic Stress and Your Teeth

It’s no secret that many of us have been experiencing a more stressful year than normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This stress has led to an increase in cracked teeth and other oral health issues. Dr. Brenda Paulen of Proud Smiles, a dentist in Sandy Springs, GA, explains the impact stress can have on your teeth and how to take care of it.

How Does Stress Impact My Teeth?

The effects of stress can be experienced throughout the entire body. One of the most common ways it impacts the teeth is causing more teeth grinding and clenching. This happens a lot subconsciously during the day and when you sleep. The more this happens, the more likely you are to develop a TMJ disorder or suffer from cracked and broken teeth.

TMJ disorders can be caused by a variety of things. Stress is one of them, as it makes you grind and clench more, causing your jaw and the muscles around it to work more. TMJ is also caused by malocclusion, or your bite coming together in a way that isn’t normal. The muscles and bones don’t work together as well when their placement is abnormal.

Malocclusion also changes the way that stress and pressure are distributed throughout the smile. When your teeth come together properly, it should be evenly distributed, with no teeth taking on the brunt of the pressure. With an abnormal bite, some teeth are subjected to more pressure than others, making them more likely to crack or chip.

Treating Malocclusion

Dr. Paulen has received extensive training in assessing, detecting, and correcting problems that occur with malocclusion. If you’re noticing your teeth are sensitive or flattened, that’s probably due to grinding your teeth. The symptoms of TMJ disorders can include your jaw popping or clicking, pain in the jaw and other areas of the face, and problems with ringing in your ears.

All of these symptoms can be things that are attributed to malocclusion. As an expert in problems with the bite, Dr. Paulen can take care of your issues before they start seriously impacting your smile. If you’re noticing wear and tear on your teeth now, getting examined by the dentist can help lessen the chance of them chipping or breaking in the future. No one wants a dental emergency.

If you’re experiencing symptoms, Dr. Paulen can offer a comprehensive bite analysis. This may involve looking through your medical history and coordinating with your primary care doctor or other medical professionals. It’s crucial to get a detailed analysis of the problem to make sure the correct methods are used in treating it.

If your bite is found to be unbalanced, Dr. Paulen can help put together a personalized treatment plan to correct it. To start, she can get you fitted for a removable dental device called a centric relation splint. You can wear it when you need it to help fight the symptoms that can come with malocclusion and TMJ disorders.

Dr. Paulen will determine further treatment that’s specific to your bite problems. It can be as simple as a small restorative procedure to bring balance back to your bite. We may need to coordinate orthodontic treatment to make the changes to your bite that are needed. Our goal is to increase the longevity of your smile and make sure we’re doing what we can to balance the bite, relieve your symptoms, and promote optimal oral health.

Bite Analysis at Your Sandy Springs, GA Dentist

Do you have the symptoms listed? Have you found yourself struggling with stress since the pandemic has started? We can help make sure it doesn’t impact your oral health. Call us or schedule an appointment online.