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Published on February 21, 2014

Could stress be affecting your teeth?

Could stress be affecting your teeth?

The British Dental Association (BDA) estimates that 10 per cent of the UK population grinds their teeth at night, a condition also known as Bruxism. The BDA has also reported that dental professionals are seeing a rise in the condition.

According to the Bruxism Association, the reason for tooth grinding is not always clear.  Among the dental profession there is a widespread belief that occlusal interference, tooth-to-tooth contact that interferes with jaw movement, is to blame. However, there is little evidence to support this belief.

A more likely factor is stress. Modern lifestyles mean we have more to worry about than ever before. Financial issues, relationship concerns and work-related stress can cause an active mind during sleep which can lead to tooth grinding, sometimes without us even being aware of it.

Bruxism has the possibility to cause headaches, earache and Temporomandibular Joint disorders (TMJ), but could also affect the teeth without any of these more noticeable symptoms. Some patients may not realise they are grinding their teeth until the clinical signs are noticed by their dentist – exposure of dentine, the back teeth can appear shorter, the upper teeth can become more angled, thin and translucent.

More information on Bruxism can be found at: www.bruxism.org.uk.

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