Stress Causing More Teeth Grinding

by Emily Baird on July 15, 2009 at 11:23 am

If you’re stressing about a recent layoff, finding ways to pay the bills, or worrying when the US economy is going to finally turn around, you’re teeth may be paying the price.

Dentist Dean Stimpson says during this economic slump, he’s noticing a rise in the number of people who grind their teeth.

“It goes on at night whether you like it or not. Most of us grind our teeth, and when we’re in stress, we grind more often, ” says Stimpson.

Stimpson says most people aren’t aware that they grind their teeth. He says you may notice more frequent headaches and soreness in your TMJ muscle, but if you continue to grind you teeth for a long period of time, things could get a little more uncomfortable.

“The teeth can get very sensitive. They can wear down to where muscles play a part, and it gets real tender and sore, ” says Stimpson.

Even though grinding your teeth is a habit, there are steps you can take to protect your teeth over the long haul. Stimpson says you can ask your dentist to put a plastic splint in your mouth, or you can sleep with a mouth guard.