Rising levels of unemployment, isolation, and other changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic may be causing more patients to experience bruxism, according to a letter to the editor published on March 12 in the British Dental Journal.
The authors cautioned that an increasing number of patients are presenting at practices with tooth wear, pain, and fractures likely due to teeth grinding and jaw clenching. The behaviors may be aggravated by "psycho-emotional status," they wrote.
This falls in line with poll results the ADA released in March showing that dentists are seeing an increase in patients with stress-related dental conditions due to the pandemic. Dentists should thoroughly examine patients for early signs of tooth wear and talk to them about how they can cope with anxiety, the BDJ authors noted.