Is Stress Affecting Your Oral Health?

The changes to our normal routines as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak can be stressful and lead to dental concerns such as tooth pain, tooth damage, and jaw tension. If you have been told that you grind your teeth or clench your jaw, stressful situations like the current health crisis we are enduring can exacerbate the problem.

Dr. Tom Trinkner is offering advice on identifying and mitigating the effects of stress on oral health. His office welcomes patients who are experiencing new symptoms and would like to address them before more permanent damage occurs.

Stress and Oral Health Columbia, SC

Signs of Teeth Grinding

There is a range of signs and symptoms that can indicate teeth grinding or bruxism. Some of the most common can include:

  • A popping or clicking sensation in the jaw joints
  • Tension in jaw muscles
  • Tooth pain
  • Ear pain
  • Recurring headaches
  • Neck or shoulder pain

Many of these symptoms may appear in the morning if you have been grinding your teeth in your sleep, which is common. However, with the added stress of the coronavirus pandemic, teeth grinding can begin to occur throughout the day. You may begin to notice that your jaw feels stiff or tight, a sign that you are clenching these muscles in response to the added stress in your daily life.

How to Reduce Stress and Protect Your Oral Health

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of a developing dental problem related to bruxism, we can recommend some at-home strategies for reducing stress and minimizing any impact on the health of your teeth and gums.

  • Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga
  • Massage the outer part of the jaw joints to relax tense muscles
  • Place a warm, moist cloth on the outside of the cheeks
  • Take over-the-counter pain medicines can reduce inflammation

Ideally, any of the above-mentioned symptoms should be addressed by Dr. Trinkner to avoid ongoing tooth damage or other more complex problems. We recommend that you schedule a visit with us as soon as possible so that conservative treatment methods can be used effectively. Call 803-400-8729 or schedule an appointment online if you have concerns about your dental health. We will provide a solution and can also see you safely in our dentist’s office to address an emergency situation.