Anxiety May Lead to Bruxism

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People who get anxious in social situations now have something else to worry about.

A new study by Tel Aviv University researchers states that anxiety stemming from a social situation could raise the risk of bruxism. The information appears in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation.

The problem is not a dental problem but it certainly has dental consequences.

To compile the data, the research team analyzed 75 people in their early 30s using questionnaires. One group had social phobia, which was determined base on excessive fear in social situations. About half of those people were taking antidepressant drugs. The control group of 35 people did not have social phobia. Each person in the study took a psychiatric and dental exam. Bruxism symptoms and oral habits like gum chewing, nail biting and small jaw movements were analyzed as well.

The data showed that 42.1 percent of the people with social phobia had moderate to severe dental wear compared to 28.6 percent of the people in the control group. Also, awake bruxism symptoms were reported in 42.5 percent of the people with social phobia while only 3 percent of the control group experienced the same symptoms. Antidepressant drugs have been linked to bruxism, but that was not the case based on this study.

This study concluded that interacting with other people is required to develop bruxism for people who would be considered anxious.

Anxiety disorders impact one out of six American adults. These disorders could be panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder or social anxiety disorder.

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