October 18, 2018

Update on March “Divorce and Your Dentist” Post

Update on March “Divorce and Your Dentist” Post

In March, after my regular six month dental exam and cleaning, I wrote about why divorcing people have unique health and insurance reasons to meet with a dentist.

This month, another dental visit and an email from my health insurance provider about renewing for 2019, provide the motivation for this post.

First, the dental visit with Tracey, my hygienist, where I learned that teeth clenching while sleeping is a common symptom of stress.  Apparently many people who were never teeth clenchers before divorcing, begin exhibiting the behavior immediately before and during the divorce process.  Untreated teeth clenching can lead to serious dental and other health problems – among these: broken teeth and crowns, headaches, TMJ, nerve damage.  Treatment of these problems can be time consuming and expensive.    As noted in my March column,  a person going through a divorce may be less likely to make or keep an appointment with their dentist  thereby missing the opportunity to address the teeth clenching , or other relatively minor issues, before it creates these other problems.

Second, fall is the time for most people to make decisions and take action regarding health and dental insurance for the coming year.  If you’ve started the divorce process or are even just considering divorce, don’t simply renew existing insurance without exploring how the impact of a divorce might affect coverage for you, your spouse or other family members.  Although divorce is usually a life event that permits mid year insurance changes, being proactive rather than reactive is the best way to protect yourself and your family.


Another sincere “thank you” to Tracey at Martha V. Smyth, DMD Family Dentistry for her help with this blog post.


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