50% of Israeli middle-aged women suffered teeth-grinding during lockdown

The rise in these symptoms are unsurprising, as they are typically caused by stress and anxiety, both of which were on the rise during the first lockdown as the population struggled to cope.

Teeth (photo credit: Teeth)
Teeth
(photo credit: Teeth)
An estimated 50% of all middle-aged women in Israel suffered from facial pain and excessive teeth grinding during the country's first coronavirus lockdown, a new study has found.
The coronavirus lockdown saw a significant rise in orofacial pain and Temporo-Mandbular Disorders (TMD) among the country's general population, particularly excessive jaw-clenching during the day and teeth-grinding at night – which is a condition known as Bruxism and can lead to significant damage to the teeth and jaw – and chronic facial muscle and jaw pain.
According to the study – led by Dr. Alona Emodi-Perlman and Prof. Ilana Eli of Tel Aviv University's School of Dental Medicine, in collaboration with Dr. Nir Uziel and Dr. Efrat Gilon of TAU and researchers from the University of Wrocław in Poland, the findings of which were published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine – TMD symptoms rose by 12% during the first lockdown. Jaw-clenching during the day rose by 15%, while teeth-grinding at night rose by 25%. And among those who already exhibited these symptoms, there was a 15% rise in severity.
The rise in these symptoms are unsurprising, as they are typically caused by stress and anxiety, both of which were on the rise during the first lockdown as the population struggled to cope.
However, women on average suffered considerably more than men. In addition, the rise in symptoms was most severe among middle-aged women (aged 33-55), with 48% suffering from TMD, 46% from jaw-clenching and 50% from teeth-grinding.
According to Eli and Emodi-Perlman, this is likely due to the stresses this demographic was exposed to, with other demographics not having the same worries.
"We believe that our findings reflect the distress felt by the middle generation, who were cooped up at home with young children, without the usual help from grandparents, while also worrying about their elderly parents, facing financial problems and often required to work from home under trying conditions," the researchers said in a statement.
The findings also showed that participants in Poland had an even higher likelihood than Israelis to experience TMD and Bruxism, with nearly half (48.8%) of all Poles reportedly suffering from orofacial pain at least once per week on average.


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