The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the routine way of life, and caused stress and uncertainty with many people.
There is existing evidence that proves the link between bruxism and stress.
A Serbian study evaluated the frequency of probable bruxism within a group of students in Serbia, and analysed the potential association between psychological factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the presence of bruxism. About 200 students were interviewed.
To standardize the analysis of psychological factors, two “stress scales” were used:
- the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) and
- the Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S).
In both tests, higher results mean a higher stress level.
Next to these tests, saliva samples were taken to analyze the studens’ cortisol levels.
Respondents with probable bruxism had significantly higher stress levels, as shown by higer DASS-21 and FCV-19S scores and higher salivary cortisol levels compared to non-bruxers.
Next to this result, the study suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a great psychological impact and impact on the stress levels but also presence of bruxism symptoms in a sample of students.