The COVID crunch: Winnipeg dentist says teeth-grinding a sign of pandemic stress

Click to play video: 'Dealing with ongoing pandemic-related stress'
Dealing with ongoing pandemic-related stress
WATCH: Dr. Syras Derksen has tips for dealing with stress or anxiety, with seasonal holidays approaching and looking very different because of COVID-19. – Sep 30, 2020
A Winnipeg dentist says he’s seen a significant uptick in people grinding their teeth in recent months, and there’s an obvious culprit: stress caused by COVID-19.
Dr. Ken Hamin of Reflections Dental Health Centre told 680 CJOB his office is seeing unprecedented numbers of patients coming in with the same problem.
“It’s the first time in probably 30 years that I’ve seen a trend — and the only thing I can account it towards is the stress of COVID-19,” said Hamin.

“We’ve seen a huge increase, probably three to four patients a week, coming in and saying, ‘I’ve started clenching or grinding’, or ‘I’ve got headaches.'”

Hamin said a night guard helps people reduce teeth grinding since it often occurs while we’re asleep, but sometimes, patients will be referred to a sleep study.
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Winnipeg psychologist Dr. Syras Derksen told Global News that added stress during the pandemic is normal — especially when traditional holiday gatherings people look forward to — like Thanksgiving — are being advised against this year.

“I think the first thing to know is that it’s OK to grieve,” said Derksen.

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“It’s important to go through a process of emotions as you realize that things are going to be different — that you’re going to have plan things different.
“You’re hoping that it’s going to be the same… but then as that realization sets in, you’re going to experience loss and you’re going to go through a series of emotions — and it’s OK to allow those to happen, and you’ll get through them.”
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