Stress Causes Increase in Teeth Grinding, According to Dentists

by Samantha on January 11, 2011

The Irish Dental Association has stated that there’s much more teeth grinding among the Irish people, and that it’s probably because of more financial woes brought on by the recession. The IDA represents more than 1,340 dentists that are saying their patients are showing more instances of teeth grinding than ever. Experts feel that at least 1 in 5 people will experience teeth grinding at some point during their lives, and the Irish dentists state that they’re encountering many more than that number.

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, usually happens at night while people are trying to sleep. The symptoms of severe bruxism include headaches, earaches, teeth damage and jaw and facial pain.

IDA dentist member Dr. Dermot Canavan states that teeth grinding is brought on by stress and anxiety. Other aggravating factors include excessive smoking along with drinking too much coffee and alcohol. Dr. Canavan feels that his patients are experiencing more bruxism because of the stress of worrying about finances.

Dr. Canavan admits that there aren’t any exact numbers. However, he states that from seeing patients in his own practices as well as talking with other dentists, it’s very clear that there’s been a substantial rise of teeth grinding cases. He also states that conversations with his patients lead him to believe that this rise in bruxism is due to serious financial issues.

Dr. Canavan also says that drugs used recreationally can make teeth grinding even worse. Drugs of particular concern include amphetamines, ecstasy and cocaine. These will lead to more jaw clenching and teeth grinding. He states that the combination of stress and drugs is a dangerous one that most people don’t even know can affect their dental health.

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