Pandemic Stress and Oral Health

November 29, 2020
Avatar for Kelley MingusKelley Mingus

2020 has been a year unlike any other, with most of us still experiencing major lifestyle changes that show no signs of going back to the way things used to be. Naturally, these changes have caused us a lot of anxiety and stress. From dealing with new restrictions to the fear of illness, we have a lot to worry about these days. This uncertainty has naturally caused a lot of problems on our emotional well-being, but researchers are also noticing that many people are manifesting this stress physically, too.

In Israel, a recent study found that many people are experiencing increases in oral-health related stress symptoms. Things like jaw pain, bruxism (teeth grinding), and even broken teeth. These issues, coupled with the fear many people experience about going to the dentist right now, is creating a perfect storm of oral health problems.

The data doesn’t lie. Out of 1800 respondents from both Poland and Israel, respondents experienced TMJ and bruxism symptoms 35 percent of the time, but now report experiencing them 47 percent of the time. For jaw clenching, which can lead to temporomandibular joint dysfunction, that number rose from 17 percent to 32 percent, and bruxism from 10 percent to 36 percent.

So, what can you do if you find yourself in any of these groups? Simply quitting these behaviors is harder than it sounds, as much of these behaviors are done unconsciously and can be difficult to stop for that reason.

The first thing you should do if you realize you have a problem is to reach out to Dr. Mingus for a consultation. We have taken additional safety precautions to ensure your visit is as safe as possible.

Dr. Mingus will evaluate your symptoms and may prescribe a bite guard or a special treatment regimen for temporomandibular jaw dysfunction that may include a sleep orthotic or other physical therapy treatments.

For patients with chipped or cracked teeth, Dr. Mingus can repair this damage and help prevent further damage from occurring in the meantime.

We know the pandemic is stressful on everyone, and you have a lot to be worried about right now but your oral health should not be adding to that stress. Let Dr. Mingus help you correct oral health issues now and take one less thing off your shoulders.