Clamping down on teeth grinding: This year’s stressors are putting a dent in oral health

Your body responds to stress, whether it’s a faster heart rate or tight muscles. If you’re feeling extra strains because of COVID-19 pandemic issues and world events, another physical response can go directly to the mouth and put a dent in the health of your teeth and gums.

Do you wake up with jaw pain and tenderness? It might be because you’re grinding your teeth more at night or even unconsciously during the day. Are you clenching your teeth as you work?

Other stress-related oral health issues can range from gum disease to canker sores. Your dentist can help you with prevention tips and self-care for any of these issues, said Dr. Kyle Dosch, Spokane-based dental director at Delta Dental of Washington.

“Stress is something that can always manifest itself in our physical health, including our oral health,” Dosch said.

“Now with COVID, it’s an even more stressful time for

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