Our dentists are seeing an increase in teeth grinding needing attention over the past few months. Bruxism - excessive teeth grinding or clenching - affects 10 per cent of the UK population, but dentists are reporting a huge increase in cases as a result of the pandemic.
As our stress levels increase, we often clench and grind our teeth, which over a prolonged period of time can become an unconscious habit. This can result in soreness in the jaw, head or neck, jaw stiffness or lockjaw, increased headaches and earaches, and worn teeth enamel due to repetitive grinding. However, all these issues can be addressed with self-care and treatment.
The dentists at Elmsleigh House can offer advice if you are clenching your jaw, such as exercises to relax your jaw muscles. They can also make bespoke plastic mouth guards to protect your teeth when you know you are clenching or grinding. Indeed, over the past few months our dentists have made an unprecedented amount of mouth guards to protect patients' teeth. They are also seeing an increase in people with cracked or fractured teeth and broken crowns as a result of excessive teeth grinding.
If you are noticing you are clenching or grinding, ask your dentist how you can minimise this and prevent damage from occurring.
Learning techniques to cope with stress, such as exercising or mindfulness techniques, will help you relax if you are susceptible to clenching or grinding when stressed.
You can book anhour-long new patient examinationat Elmsleigh House, which is a thorough assessment of your teeth, including any x-rays needed. You can discuss any symptoms of bruxism and options for treatment, which will be written up as a comprehensive treatment plan detailing the best solution for you, such as impressions for a bespoke mouth guard to be made to fit precisely and protect your teeth.