Find Out Why Teeth-Breaking Stress is Rampant and on the Rise in 2022
If you are experiencing dental problems, like weakening, cracked, and broken teeth, you are not alone. Teeth-breaking stress has been rising since the COVID-19 pandemic and will affect more people in 2022 than ever before. Since 2020, dentists and oral surgeons are seeing more cases of broken or cracked teeth because of increased stress and anxiety. And for a good reason, but that doesn’t mean your oral health has to suffer. Find out what causes teeth-breaking stress and how to treat it.
Teeth-Breaking Stress in 2022: What is stress, and when is it too much?
Stress is how the human body readies itself for a heightened situation. In the face of changes and challenges, the brain and body produce responses you feel as stress. The teeth-breaking stress many Americans are experiencing in 2022 is the body’s natural reaction to unnaturally stressful circumstances.
Stress is a necessary response that helps us stay alert and motivated when adapting to a new situation or circumstance. Your body’s autonomic nervous system has a built-in response to stressful situations called “fight-or-flight”. In a stressful situation, your fight-or-flight response kicks in and adjusts your breathing, visual awareness, heart rate, and more. For instance, if a wild animal attacks you, your fight-or-flight response increases your blood flow and adrenaline to help keep you alive. If you live in a constant state of stress, however, it will wear down on your body, emotions, and overall state of health.
Abnormally High Stressors in 2022
Today, we live in a more tumultuous world than ever before. Stressors may include: ongoing stress from COVID-19 and new threats from other diseases like Monkey Pox or Polio, cost of living increases and your pick of disturbing stories in the news including climate change, the war in Ukraine and political division. The first step to finding your way back to balance is admitting and forgiving yourself for the stress you feel. COVID-19 alone was enough to spur an unprecedented rise in the number of cases dentists began to see for cracked or broken teeth.
Stress Leads to Tooth Damage
Oral health reflects overall health and vice-versa. Steady states of stress can cause damage to many parts of your body, including your teeth. No wonder your oral health suffers more degradation in times of higher stress since your overall health is taking a greater toll.
Have you ever clenched your teeth when you were angry or scared? Clenching your teeth is a natural reaction to stress, but it is detrimental to your dental health if it happens involuntarily while you sleep. Bruxing your teeth while you sleep can cause headaches, low energy, and cracked teeth.
Are you bruxing?
Bruxing (grinding or clenching your teeth) causes cracked and chipped teeth. You may be unaware that you brux your teeth until a dentist or partner informs you. Patients often brux while they sleep, making it impossible to know when you are bruxing at night. You can predict if you are bruxing at night by noticing if you grind or clench your teeth daily. Specifically, do you clench your teeth throughout the day when you are not eating or chewing? If so, you are likely grinding or clenching your teeth while sleeping.
How to Treat Teeth-Breaking Stress
Stress manifests in various symptoms and physical ticks or habits, including bruxism. The result of bruxism is often headache, worn down teeth and fracture lines in teeth which often lead to broken teeth. You can avoid serious dental health problems by treating the cause of the problem before it is allowed to manifest. Stress management is the most crucial step to halting further damage. If damage has already been done, it is essential to consult your dentist. Cracked and broken teeth are not isolated issues to your oral health.
The world is stressful, but your health must come first if you are to weather the storm. Preventing clenching and grinding with a night guard or even 2 clear retainers worn together can help mitigate the stress on your facial muscles, and dentition. If you think you are clenching and grinding or see signs of teeth wear or fracture lines, you can call our office to schedule a dental consultation and determine the best treatment to help reduce the effects of stress on your teeth, jaws and facial muscles.
Don’t stress and schedule an appointment with our office.
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