Is Your Daily Grind Causing Nightly Grinding?

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Is Your Daily Grind Causing Nightly Grinding? featured image

Bruxism is a very common problem, but you may not even realize it’s your problem—you could be grinding and clenching your teeth while you sleep. And now, researchers have found that it’s more likely to occur in people who have trouble coping with daily stress.

“Its causes are still relatively unknown, but stress has been implicated,” said Maria Giraki, a member of the German research team behind the study. “We aimed to investigate whether different stress-factors, and different coping strategies, were more or less associated with these bruxism symptoms.”

They measured overnight tooth-grinding in 69 people, who were also given a questionnaire about stress and coping techniques. Researchers found that, while age and gender didn’t play a part, daily stress and work problems were strongly correlated with bruxism.

“Our data support the assumption that people with the most problematic grinding do not seem to be able to deal with stress in an adequate way,” Giraki added. “They seem to prefer negative coping strategies like ‘escape’. This, in general, increases the feeling of stress, instead of looking at the stressor in a positive way.”

Although some people are able to identify their bruxism early on, either due to pain or a partner pointing it out, it’s often not until a dentist has identified the signs, which can include worn-down and shifted teeth, that a grinder knows of the damage they’ve been doing to their smile in their sleep.

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