It is no secret that COVID-19 has caused a national health emergency on a global level with an overwhelming array of health problems that come along with it. During these unprecedented times, our quality of life has significantly been impacted. Due to this, people have taken great measures to follow CDC guidelines, businesses have been forced to close and have been asked to stay home.
The reality of face mask covering and personal protective equipment has become the norm. These measures have changed virtually every aspect of our lives creating feelings of uncertainty. However, what most people do not know is how much COVID-19 significantly influences our oral health.
Could COVID-19 Cause TMJ & Bruxism?
All these issues and overwhelming situations are beyond our control and have increased anxiety and stress levels. This has caused a wide range of side effects including long-term breathing issues, rashes, neurological issues, and loss of smell and taste.
Numerous studies have reported that since the pandemic began, there has been an increase in the following oral conditions:
- Tooth fractures
- Jaw pain
- Teeth grinding
According to a recent study published by the Journal of Clinical Medicine; found that TMJ (Temporomandibular joint dysfunction) and Bruxism can be possible outbreak factors in patients suffering from COVID-19 symptoms. In fact, it was cited that a significant increase in facial pain, including jaw pain that has been linked to jaw-clenching as well as teeth grinding.
This could well be the result of high levels of anxiety and stress that many people have experienced since the beginning of the pandemic.
The best way to combat these issues is prevention. By using Fluoride pastes and rinses to prevent cavities and use bite guards or occlusal guards to prevent teeth fractures and jaw pain.
Symptoms of TMJ & Bruxism
Since we now know daily stresses can be a major factor in teeth clenching or bruxism and can lead to TMJ. It is also important to be aware of the symptoms and warning signs including:
- Facial muscle pain
- Popping or clicking sound in the jaw
- Headaches or migraines
- Complicate dental implants
To help our patients at this unprecedented time, our staff at Advanced Dentistry & Implant Center have taken a conservative approach to manage bruxism and to prevent symptoms through splint therapy. We approach and diagnose each case carefully and differently for the best possible outcome.
For more information, contact us online or call our office in San Diego at (858) 462-0744 to learn more.