COVID-19 effects of stress

COVID-19: The Effect Of Stress 

Headaches, Migraines and Other Facial Pain is Commonly Triggered by Stress

During the last few months, we have constantly been bombarded by the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result more of us are becoming stressed and anxious. On top of this, most of us are dealing with everyday life hassle: you are late for a meeting, you’ve lost your keys, a bus is not on time, or your dog just decided to have a mud spa.

Living in a stressful environment as is our world right now, might cause headaches and Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD), more commonly known as a TMJ. Tension-type headaches, migraines or any other facial pain is commonly triggered or increased by stress.

Facial pain caused by stress

Clenching, grinding and breaking teeth

As a result of stress, patients are clenching, grinding, and breaking their teeth more often, as this is a way our body tries to cope with the situation. Usually, we do it subconsciously during our sleep without even realising. Continuous clenching or grinding of teeth, known as bruxism, apart from causing pain in your jaw, can also damage your teeth. As you are clenching and grinding your teeth, they become worn down, cracked, and broken. Repairing teeth damaged in this way is more challenging and expensive.

Man suffering from stress

Posture

Another thing which might put a significant strain on the neck, shoulders, and later the jaw, is posture. Lots of people are working from home nowadays and spend long hours in front of their computer, and they do not move as often as when they used to commute to work.

How to deal with stress

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to deal with everyday stress. You can consider:

  • Relaxation techniques
  • Meditation
  • Asking the closest people to you if you are grinding your teeth at night
  • Deep breathing
  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting adequate sleep
  • Seeing your dentist and having mouth guards composed individually for you.

How your dentist can help

Your dentist will determine your accurate, natural bite pattern. This will allow muscular imbalances to be prevented and reduce the pain associated with TMJ, protecting your teeth.
You might be required to wear a custom-made mouthguard at night to protect your teeth from grinding together.

By  Dr Agata Ciukiewicz

 

Illustration of migrane on the brain

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