Members of the Saving Teeth campaign have warned dental patients that stress could be impacting on their teeth as well as their general health. Bruxism – grinding or clenching of teeth – affects around ten percent of the UK population, and is known to wear away enamel, fracture teeth, and cause severe jaw problems.
Endodontic specialist, Julian Webber, has spoken about the lack of information about stress related bruxism, saying that people should talk to their dentist if they are having problems with clenching or grinding, particularly at nighttime. Dr Webber pointed out that it was important to stop the process of wear before it gets unmanageable, saying that the average persons tooth is put under enormous pressure as it is, including fractures, fillings, infections, root canals, and other dental procedures. He said ‘If you add stress into the mix and have people with filled teeth clenching and grinding, they can develop a range of problems in their teeth and jaws. I can generally tell the patients who are stressed just by looking into their mouths’.
24th-30th of October is Bruxism Awareness Week, and campaigners are asking people who think they might be suffering from stress-related dental problems to take advantage of the opportunity and ‘talk to your dentist about wear and tear on your teeth and how he or she can help you’.