The last few years have been stressful for many Americans and, according to the New York Times, it is starting to show on their teeth. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is on the rise, and stress is thought to be one of the causes. According to the article, Dr. Rawdin out of Manhattan saw a 20 to 25% increase in patients with teeth grinding symptoms in 2009, and other dentists reported similar findings.
Stress is not the only factor that can cause teeth grinding. Genetics and tooth alignment can also come into play. However, it is important to realize that the pressure you may be feeling during the day can turn into pressure that you grind away your teeth with at night. If you think you are grinding your teeth, go see your dentist soon. Along with diagnosing the possible causes, your dentist can provide custom night guards to protect your teeth and offer cosmetic dental solutions for teeth that may have already been damaged.
Along with seeing your dentist, you can also try to look for ways to reduce your stress levels. Eating a healthy diet, exercise and finding time for meditation, yoga or calm reflection can help. To read the New York Times article on teeth grinding and stress, go here. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/08/fashion/08SKIN.html?pagewanted=all&_r=3&