Since the lockdown order of March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant increase in grinding and clenching teeth nationwide. These behaviors are related to stress. At our office, we have been prescribing nightguards for patients who were never diagnosed as grinders/clenchers before. Our patients who already had nightguards have ground right through them and have needed replacements.
Many of our patients have started coming in with symptoms of grinding/clenching such as sore jaw in the morning, headaches, tightness in the jaw/temples, ear aches, tender teeth when biting, chipped teeth/fillings/crowns, torn up inside of the cheeks from cheek biting, sensitivity to cold/sour.
It is important to protect your teeth, because it's the only set you've got! If anyone has told you they have heard you grinding your teeth at night, or if you are experiences any of the above symptoms, it is important that you get fitted for a nightguard.
We do not recommend any OTC/DIY nightguards, and have seen negative results from patients who have gone that route. Some patients have noticed their teeth moving or becoming wiggly from ill-fitting nightguards, or appliances that are not equilibrated to the opposing teeth. This can lead to tooth mobility, trauma, and potentially tooth devitalization or tooth loss.
At your next appointment, let your dentist know if you think you may be grinding/clenching your teeth.