Teeth Grinding Issues On The Rise In 2021

Timed with the pandemic

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As teeth grinding related issues dramatically surge, the majority of dentists say 2021 has become the year of the cracked tooth. 

President of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Dental Association and practising Dentist Jeremy Sternson says normally dentists would see a handful of grinding patients in a year, but this year they have seen roughly three or four per day.

Sternson added that the majority of urgent care being performed at his practice had been split teeth that had never been split before and teeth that had never had a filling in them.

Melbourne Dentist and Victorian Dental Association Councillor Emily Pow said it is most prevalent in young and middle-aged people. Dr Sternson agrees. 

"A classic example is a mother who is also a teacher who was homeschooling. She came in and she had had very little dental work in the past. She'd split her tooth clean in half and it had to be removed," he said.

Dr Pow says her patients are coming in with jaw pain, headaches and lots of muscle tension - all symptoms related to teeth grinding. 

"I've been issuing more nightguards. Certainly, things have gotten worse [in 2021]," she said.

Dentists are calling 2021 "the year of the cracked tooth". Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash.

With teeth-grinding a hallmark symptom of stress, Dr Pow points the timing of the trend with people coming in and out of lockdowns and the uncertainty that goes with it. 

"I'm seeing more and more teeth grinding in people because of the stress from coming in and out of lockdowns and the uncertainty — the constant changes back and forth," she said.

Whilst there is no organised data yet, Dr Sternson says it’s common knowledge among Victoria’s dentists that teeth-grinding problems had increased this year. 

President of the NSW branch of the Australian Dental Association and Dentist Michael Jonas says he has noticed the change also. 

"This is anecdotal but I'm seeing it and my colleagues in Sydney are repeating the same thing, an uptick in people with grinding issues," he said.

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Hit News Team

22 November 2021

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