The Pandemic’s Troubling Dental Trend

With many Americans taking precautions and avoiding indoor spaces, you might think that dentists would be taking a hit during the pandemic. But at least for one dentist writing in the New York Times, the opposite is true: New York-based Dr. Tammy Chen is busy tending to an “epidemic of cracked teeth,” as she wrote in an opinion piece. One major reason is stress, which can lead to teeth clenching and grinding during the day and night. The awkward positions that bodies assume while working from home and the lack of sleep don’t do our teeth any favors either.

Before the pandemic, Ashley Abramson wrote about teeth grinding and its link to the psyche in Elemental. She, too, pointed to the role of stress and the many reasons that it can manifest in our jaw. Though coronavirus-related stress wasn’t an issue back then, the interventions she proposed still hold: refraining from aggravating factors like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, and addressing stress head-on through mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and even talk therapy.

Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog. Senior editor at Future Human by OneZero. Previously: science at Inverse, genetics at NYU.

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