Feeling Anxious?

Sunday, May 10th, 2015, 5:23 pm

Do you feel anxious in social situations? Anxiety disorders such as social anxiety affect one out of every six people in the US. A new study from Tel Aviv University found that anxiety experienced in social settings elevates the risk of teeth grinding.

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, causes tooth wear and breakage and can lead to jaw pain and painful TMJ problems. The research found that interaction with other people was likely to trigger teeth grinding in patients who are social anxious.

“This is not a dental problem but one with clear dental consequences,” said lead researcher Dr. Ephraim Winocur. “If we are aware, then we can bring it into consciousness. Psychiatrists can identify patients predisposed to bruxism and can try to help prevent it, and dental experts will immediately know what to treat.” Although antidepressant drugs have previously been linked to bruxism, this study found no association.

Many people grind their teeth, even if they don’t suffer from social anxiety. Most grind at night when they don’t realize they are doing it and wonder why they wake in the morning with headaches and jaw pain. Many patients who have suffered from “migraine headache” for years actually have been causing their headaches by grinding their teeth. Long term grinding not only damages teeth but can cause painful damage to the jaw joint.

Bruxism can be treated and the headaches, jaw pain and broken teeth can be put behind you. Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-391-8777 to schedule your consultation.

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Category: TMJ

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