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Surge in teeth grinding linked to poor economy
Updated: 3/1/2010 5:00:13 PM

Surge in teeth grinding linked to poor economy A growing number of people are suffering from dental health problems due to a national upsurge in teeth grinding caused by stress over the stagnant economy, according to a recent study.

Researchers from the Chicago Dental Society surveyed more than 250 of its members and found that nearly 75 percent of dentists said their patients reported increased stress in their lives. Moreover, approximately 65 percent of dentists said that they have seen an increase in teeth grinding and jaw clenching among their patients.

"It's been because of the economy," said Chicago dentist William Frericks told the Sun Times. "'Can I pay for food on the table or my next rent check or mortgage?' Those kinds of things have really come into play lately."

Teeth grinding and jaw clenching can cause headaches and sleep problems, and can lead to muscle inflammation, broken teeth and damaged dental work.

The Chicago Dental Society recommends that patients who find themselves grinding their teeth avoid caffeine, exercise regularly and talk to their dentist about a night mouth guard if the issue persists. Massaging the muscles along the jaw line can also help relieve jaw soreness.

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