Recession blamed for upsurge in teeth grinding

A growing number of patients are suffering with bruxism due to stresses brought on by the recession.

That’s according to Edinburgh dentist Yann Maidment who says he has seen had seen an increase of 10-20% in patients grinding their teeth over the past 18 months, especially those working for the city’s banks, fund managers and financial services firms.

The dentist, who runs Stafford Street Dental care in Edinburgh, explained: ‘There’s a lot of anxiety that redundancies may be coming, and about job losses that have already happened.’

He is providing more and more patients with bite guards and a spokesperson at the British Dental Health Foundation confirmed the increse, saying that its helpline had seen an upsurge in calls about the problem.

‘Stress is probably the major reason – people not being able to cope with things going on in their work or love life, or having money worries. These situations can create tension in people’s bodies and that can manifest itself as teeth grinding.’

Corrective exercises, relaxation therapy and counselling to address the underlying cause of the tension are among the helpline’s suggested potential remedies.

The biggest study of bruxism was conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration of global medical experts in 2008 which found that the problem can start at just one years old, when a child’s deciduous incisors have emerged.

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