As you get older, it’s normal to experience a bit more stress than usual. Whether you’re thinking about getting work completed on time for school or your job or you have a family to take care of, stress happens. However, stress can also manifest in a number of ways. It’s one thing to stress-eat or keep tapping your foot because you’re feeling anxious, but stress can also appear in the form of chronic teeth grinding and clenching. To learn more about how habits can increase your risk of needing expensive dental treatments to resolve cracked teeth later and what you can do to stay proactive, keep reading.
How Stress and Root Canal Therapy are Connected
Teeth grinding and clenching (or bruxism) is far more common than you’d think. According to the American Sleep Association, it’s estimated that it affects about 10% of the U.S. population every single night. This is certainly a cause for alarm, especially considering how stressed the pandemic has made everyone feel over the past year. In fact, dental offices have been reporting an increase in cracked teeth cases since the pandemic began. Now, dental professionals may have a better understanding of why.
When teeth become cracked, the inner area of the tooth can easily become exposed. This is where the pulp and other sensitive nerve tissue is contained. When bacteria is able to access this part of the tooth, it can lead to a dental infection and require a root canal to treat.
It’s not unreasonable to imagine waking up in the middle of the night with either tooth pain or even a cracked tooth due to unchecked teeth grinding. You may even have bruxism without even realizing it! Luckily, there’s a way to catch the symptoms early.
Signs You May Be Grinding Your Teeth
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you’ll want to get in touch with an endodontist so you can learn how to manage your habit. These symptoms include:
- Teeth that look flat or have otherwise lost their sharpness
- Eroded or worn down teeth
- Waking up with headaches or migraines regularly
- Chronic discomfort in the jaw, face, or neck
- Chronic earaches
- Loose teeth
What You Can Do Right Now
The moment you believe that you may be suffering from chronic teeth grinding and clenching, you should get in touch with a dental office. To reduce the risk of you needing root canal therapy for cracked teeth, as well as manage your symptoms in the long-term, a custom-made nightguard can be designed. This oral appliance is worn throughout the night to ensure that teeth are protected as you work to manage your stress levels.
Stress affects everyone, but there’s no reason a cracked tooth and root canal therapy should be the reasons causing it. Call a dental professional today to start protecting your smile as you sleep!
About Afton Endodontics
The endodontists at Afton Endodontics care deeply about helping others maintain long-term oral health and ensuring patients have the protection they need to avoid cracked teeth. Of course, their expertise allows them to provide the most comfortable and comprehensive root canal therapy possible if needed to address problems that do appear. To schedule an appointment, you can contact them through their website.