Is COVID-19 stress to blame for your cracked tooth and sore jaws?

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Apparently, we are not just grinning and bearing the elevated stress in our lives during this pandemic.

A new survey by the American Dental Association found 70% of dentists are seeing more patients who are grinding their teeth, clenching their jaws, and even cracking teeth as we try to manage the uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought into our lives. We asked a local dentist if he's seeing the same in his practice.

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"We have witnessed more patients coming in, complaining of clenching and grinding, " said Dr. Donald Tamborello of Tamborello Dental Associates. "We have seen patients with fractured teeth. We have seen patients come in with pain and think they need root canals, and then we check their bite, make an occlusal adjustment and they're fine. So, we've noticed some changes due to the increased stress level, whatever it is that is causing that."

SEE ALSO: COVID-19 making you anxious? Here are some tips that may help

The important thing is to keep in mind is to go see your dentist if you are experiencing tooth or jaw pain, often it's an easy fix. Mouthguards may also be a solution for you, which your dentist can recommend and offer varying priced options. And take note that even if you're not under stress, your jaw position is changed slightly just by wearing a mask, which decreases your oxygen intake. That can prompt you to move your jaw out of alignment in an effort to get more air.

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