Grind, grind, grind. If you live with a teeth grinder, you may be familiar with this unpleasant sound, especially recently. A recent study published in the journal Head & Face Medicine suggests that people—adults and kids—faced with stress tend to cope by grinding their teeth. In addition, the Chicago Dental Society suggests that since the recession began in 2007, teeth grinding, or bruxism, has been on the rise.
The Chicago Dental Society surveyed more than 250 members about the connection between stress and oral health. Nearly 75 percent of dentists said their patients reported increased stress over the past year, largely due to the economic recession. During stressful times, teeth grinding can be a nuisance that causes headaches and sleep problems, but it also can cause lasting problems for your teeth and gums, including chipped teeth, worn enamel, chronic pain, or even TMJ, a painful jaw disorder.
The first step of recovering from teeth grinding is noticing the problem. Symptoms of teeth grinding include:
• Sensitivity in the teeth
• Tightness or pain in the jaw
• Dull headaches, earaches, or facial pain
• Chipped, worn down, or loose teeth
An important thing to remember is that people frequently grind their teeth in response to stress, and taking measures to reduce or eliminate stress can help solve the problem. If the teeth-grinder in your house can’t stop, schedule an appointment to see us by giving us a call. Drs. Nettune, Banasiak and our team can help determine the cause of the problem.