Skip to main content

6 Fitzwilliam St. Lower, Dublin 2.

01 6614659

Monday-Friday 9am - 12:30pm
2pm - 5pm

Image for the news item Is tooth grinding really related to stress?.

Is tooth grinding really related to stress?

Written by Ray McCarthy on .

The answer is maybe but it’s not necessarily a direct cause and effect relationship.
This is because there are two distinct types of tooth grinding or jaw clenching behaviour (bruxism in scientific terminology).

One occurs during the day (wake bruxism) and the other at night (sleep bruxism) and they differ in terms of their behavioural characteristics.
The daytime variant is strongly stress related whereas the role of stress is less clear in nightime bruxism which is associated with sleep arousals or disturbances in the sleep pattern.
We don’t know for sure whether effective stress management will lead to a cessation in bruxism but research is ongoing.

In the meantime, it is important to protect the teeth from the increase in applied forces (much greater than chewing forces which are not as prolonged) so that the incidence of fractures is minimised.

For daytime bruxers simply increased awareness of the activity can be effective whereas a protective biteguard may be needed for nightime bruxism.