The state of the world in 2020 has many people stressed out, very stressed out.
A recent survey of over 3,400 American dentists reveals the majority report seeing a rise in stress-related oral health conditions since the pandemic began. This includes jaw grinding and clenching, chipped and cracked teeth, and symptoms of temporomandibular disorders (or dysfunction of the jaw muscles, joints, and nerves.)
There’s hope, though, thanks to a retainer-like device known as the night guard. Typically worn while sleeping, the device relaxes the jaw and helps prevent teeth grinding by acting as a barrier between teeth. One New York City-based dentist described the recent surge of patients requesting night guards as “extraordinary.” It’s estimated that 80 to 90 percent of the population likely grinds and clenches their teeth in cycles associated with stress.