Numerous people are experiencing increased stress levels secondary to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many fear for their personal health or the health of loved ones. Unemployed workers worry about having the ability to meet financial needs. Although feeling ill-equipped, many parents have undertaken the role of educator for their children. Couples and families must cope with spending extensive time together under one roof. For some, the isolation and inability to be with loved ones or friends also causes anxiety. Stress causes the body to react in a myriad of ways. Dentists report that they are treating more and more patients for cracked teeth, which they attribute to pandemic stress.
Tooth Fracture Diagnosis and Treatment
Dental practitioners need to assess the extent of the fracture before prescribing treatment. An initial assessment commonly necessitates an X-ray. They may apply a dental dye to visualize the extent of the crack. Smoothing or bonding might be used to repair surface cracks. If the dentist deems the damage to be severe, a patient may be referred to an oral surgeon.
If the crack extends through the enamel and the dentin but does not penetrate the inner pulp layer, physicians are able to perform a root canal and affix a crown to protect the tooth. If the crack extends too deeply into the tooth, removal is often required.
The Bruxism Dilemma
The medical term bruxism refers to grinding or clenching one’s teeth. The unconscious habit may occur while awake or during sleep. As teeth undergo pressure from clenched jaws or teeth grinding against each other, the protective enamel layer wears away. The teeth become more vulnerable to damage. The ongoing pressure has the potential to cause teeth to fracture. Dentists report seeing multiple patients daily suffering from fractured teeth. Treatment depends on the severity of the damage.
Bruxism symptoms often include:
- Abrasions or tenderness on the insides of the mouth
- Awakening with a headache
- Facial pain
- Indentations on the tongue
- Smoothed tooth surfaces
- Unusual tooth or teeth sensitivity
Preventing bruxism from causing further damage may involve wearing a mouthguard during sleep, as bruxism often occurs at night. Individuals suffering from high levels of stress may benefit from counseling. Prescription medications may alleviate disrupted sleep patterns or an inability to sleep.