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How Stress Causes Tooth Problems

Posted on March 6, 2014 by Dr. Mal Braverman

We’ve all heard about the myriad health problems excess stress can lead to. Heart disease and cancer, for instance, have long been associated with experiencing too much stress. But, perhaps, what you didn’t know is that stress can also have terrible effects on your smile.

In fact, the British Dental Association says teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a major cause of tooth problems and is caused itself by excess stress. And 10 percent of UK residents, dentists have reported, suffer from bruxism. This is a marked increase of about 30 percent in the number of sufferers in the last five years, according to the association.

One major cause for the recent rise in bruxism, UK dentists say, is work-related stress, followed by relationship strain and financial difficulties. These problems can weigh heavily on people while they sleep, causing them to clench and grind their teeth. Moreover, the bruxism can cause individuals to lose sleep and causes headaches and earaches, as well as problems with the temporomandibular joint, which connects the jaw to the skull.

Of course, many of the causes for stress might be unavoidable, especially considering the financial troubles many have had to contend with since the start of the Great Recession. For this reason, individuals should consider making use of techniques that will help them manage their stress better. Among those techniques that seem to reduce stress best are regular exercise routines, yoga and hypnosis.

For more information on how to cut the stress that’s affecting your smile, or to schedule an appointment to fix your own broken smile with one of NYC’s best cosmetic dentists, visit or call 212.688.3838.

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