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Stress and your teeth

SEEN THIS MORNING
April 7, 2009 10:23:58 AM PDT
Is the battered economy stressing you out? The wear and tear may be showing in your teeth. Dentists can tell your stress level the moment you open your mouth."Though many people may want to deny that it's not related to stress. I definitely see a correlation between stress and grinding," says Dr. Jane Puskas/West Side.

Teeth grinding is a common condition affecting many patients.

"Bruxism is when you tooth grinding is not a normal pattern -- when you're either crunching or grinding your teeth together not to chew, rub your teeth together," says Dr. Puskas.

It most often happens at night, when people sleep. Most aren't even aware of the habit until they start feeling the symptoms.

"Generalized tooth pain...It could be jaw pain, headaches, difficulty opening, sometimes you'll hear noise, or discomfort in the TMJ," Dr. Puskas says.

Left untreated, it can lead to worn down, flattened or chipped teeth. Dentists recommend a custom-made mouth guard that is worn at night, and it doesn't take long for dentists or patients to notice the difference.


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