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Are Cracked Teeth on the Rise?

Reports in The New York Times and other news outlets indicate that there may be a significant increase in the damage done to teeth because of stress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Grinding teeth or clenching the jaw at night are usually associated with anxiety, emotional upset or stress. Finding ways to reduce stress and to promote better dental health will typically provide you and your family with brighter smiles and greater longevity for your teeth in these trying times.

If the stress from the pandemic is starting to set in, and you’re finding yourself grinding or clenching your teeth during the day, don’t delay in contacting us. Sometimes, you won’t be able to tell you’re grinding or clenching unless someone, or your dentists, points it out. Give us a call before any permanent damage occurs.

What Does Bruxism Mean?

Habitually grinding your teeth together or clenching your jaw are signs of a dental condition called bruxism. This condition can cause serious damage to teeth by wearing away or cracking the enamel, a hard substance that serves as the outer shell for your tooth. Breaks in this enamel can allow bacteria to enter, which can cause infections, cavities and tooth decay. Bruxism can also cause significant pain in the form of headaches or discomfort in the jaw, neck, shoulders or face.

Younger children are at higher risk for bruxism, as are people with certain medical conditions, tobacco users, coffee and alcohol drinkers and people with aggressive or competitive personalities. Additionally, periods of stress and anxiety can increase the risk of grinding your teeth even for those who do not fit into a specific risk category. Finding ways to reduce the damage caused by bruxism to your teeth is critical to your health and the function and appearance of your teeth.

Is It Possible to Stop Clenching and Grinding My Teeth During the Day?

Reducing the amount of caffeine you consume in a normal day will often lower your risk of clenching or grinding your teeth unconsciously. Smoking is another risk factor for bruxism. Beginning a smoking cessation program could help you manage this risk more effectively. Finally, taking a few minutes to relax and decompress after a stressful encounter or activity will often reduce your overall stress levels to help you manage your everyday routine more effectively.

How Can an Experienced Dental Team Help?

At Dental One Associates of Maryland, we can provide you with customized solutions that are designed to help you cope with stress-related bruxism more effectively. Our team specializes in delivering the perfect options for preventing damage to your teeth and in helping you to feel much more comfortable and confident in everything you do.

What Is a Custom Night Guard?

Dental night guards are designed to work in the same way as the trays typically used for teeth whitening. These durable dental appliances fit over your teeth to provide a cushion against damage caused by grinding or clenching your teeth. Your custom night guard will deliver added protection for your teeth during the time you are asleep.

Should You Wear a Teeth Protector While You Sleep?

The damage caused by bruxism can lead to tooth decay, cavities and even loosening of the teeth. Bruxism also sometimes results in pain in the jaw caused by misalignment or damage to the temporomandibular joint, more commonly called the TMJ. This can lead to a condition called TMJ syndrome that can produce headaches, damage to the muscles underlying and supporting the jaw and issues with your ability to bite or chew.

Is Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome Common?

TMJ syndrome is a dental condition that occurs when the jaw is misaligned or the muscles are damaged as a result of injury, arthritis or repeated clenching and grinding of the teeth. Reducing pressure on the jaw is essential to promote the best and most practical treatment for these issues.

Is a Mouth Guard Considered Necessary to Stop TMJ Pain?

At Dental One Associates of Maryland, our dentists can create a customized mouth guard that gently and gradually restores the natural alignment of your jaw. This can considerably reduce or even eliminate jaw pain associated with TMJ syndrome. By preventing the damage caused by too much pressure on your teeth, you can enjoy more restful sleep and fewer headaches associated with TMJ syndrome.

Why Choose a Custom Mouth Guard?

Unlike the cheaper and less durable options sometimes available online or through a local pharmacy, Dental One Associates of Maryland can create a custom mouth guard that is specifically designed for your teeth and your mouth. This will make your dental guard much more comfortable to wear and will ensure that it can stand up to even the harshest and most persistent grinding of your teeth without permitting this condition to damage your tooth enamel. A custom-fitted guard will also allow you to sleep with greater confidence and fewer worries about this dental device.

Where Are Custom Night Guards Available?

Contacting our office today to schedule an appointment is the best way to get the dental guard you need. Dental One Associates of Maryland is conveniently located and offers appointments that suit your needs and your busy schedule. We will work with you to create a comprehensive plan that includes a customized dental guard, a strategy for dealing with stress and the care you need to deal with all aspects of dental treatment during the pandemic.

Managing the Costs of a Custom Dental Guard

Our dental practice understands the financial challenges facing our patients today. We accept most dental plans, including discount dental options as well as employer-sponsored or group plans. We will work with you to find the most practical payment options and the right solutions to ensure that you can afford the dental care needed by you and your family. This can reduce the stress and worry you may be experiencing during the current pandemic.

To learn more about our lineup of services or to schedule your first appointment with us, give Dental One Associates of Maryland a call today. Our team of experienced and knowledgeable dentists will be happy to work with you to deliver high-quality and practical solutions for your dental care needs now and in the future.

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