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Clenched teeth: Saskatoon dental health epidemic related to COVID-19 stress

Since the first wave of COVID-19, dentists everywhere have been busy addressing the impact (literally) of increased stress and anxiety related to the pandemic. Tooth grinding and clenching due to stress is a dental health pandemic of its own. In Saskatoon, Dr. Yazdani sees 2-3 patients each day with broken or damaged teeth from grinding—this number has increased significantly over the past two years.

Signs you may be clenching or grinding your teeth

Historically, we believed that bruxism occurred mostly during sleep. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching are usually related to stress levels, but can also be influenced by other factors such as misaligned teeth. Bruxism often occurs during sleep and most people that we see with bruxism damage weren’t even aware they were grinding or clenching. Dentists will be able to see signs of this subconscious habit when you visit for your regular checkup. You may notice that your jaw is tense or sore or that your teeth are very sensitive from a thinning enamel. 

The impact of stress on your teeth and jaw

Bruxism is an involuntary habit that can cause serious long-term damage to the teeth and jaw. The repetitive force of clenching and grinding gradually wears away at the enamel to eventually flatten or loosen the teeth. The teeth become more vulnerable to cracks, fractures, and decay or root canal infection. The teeth may also be very sensitive and prone to toothache, as well as headache and jaw pain. For more about bruxism, read our blog Your Teeth While You Sleep.

Seeking bruxism consultation at your next dentist appointment may be the best way to prevent needing more costly cosmetic or restoration services, dental surgery, root canal therapy, or other invasive or emergency treatments that may be needed as a result of unchecked bruxism. 

Our dentist recommends Vivera retainers for the optimal protection against Bruxism
Vivera bruxism retainers act as protective appliances for people with clenching and grinding habits. Historically, bruxism was a condition that occurred mostly during sleep, and traditional nightguard appliances are designed to deal with this. The stresses of modern urban life mean that many people also now clench and grind during the day—we see this the most in patients who work in legal professions, agriculture, law enforcement, and athletes. We recommend Vivera to anyone who may be clenching or grinding their teeth day or night, because it is the easiest, most accurate, and fastest custom solution to protecting your teeth and jaw against bruxism damage.

Easy local fitting and quick delivery 

Cutting edge technology makes it very easy to receive the Vivera custom protective appliance. From our dental clinic in Saskatoon, we take a digital scan of your teeth, which is very accurate—down to fractions of microns of a millimeter. Next, we send your scans off to the laboratory where your appliance is digitally fabricated, usually within a week. Due to the accuracy of the digital scan and fabrication technology, you will not likely need any adjustments to your Vivera retainer. 

Why you’ll love Vivera as a bruxism treatment 

These invisible clear retainers are very thin compared to the bulky traditional bruxism night guards, making them more comfortable and more discreet than other bruxism appliances. They are so subtle that they could be worn 24/7, except while eating or drinking. Because they are so thin, they cause little interference with speech or other daily functions. 

Bruxism consultation is an integral part of NEESH oral health services 

A sneaky issue such as bruxism, which often occurs without your awareness, illustrates perfectly the importance of visiting your dentist on a regular basis—if left unchecked, bruxism can develop and worsen without your awareness, especially if you sleep alone. At your next appointment, consult with your dentist about bruxism. For anyone who is clenching or grinding, feels stressed, tense, or frustrated, has a sore jaw or other bruxism symptoms identified by your dentist, we strongly recommend a Vivera bruxism appliance. We may also recommend learning some relaxation techniques or seeking counseling to help reduce and manage stress levels.

For more about taking care of your oral health during COVID-19, read our blog Oral Health during Covid-19.

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