Written by Dr. Anitha Paderla, MBBS | 
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Shroff, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond) on Sep 17, 2014

Stress and Bruxism

Bruxism is an abnormal chewing action, which can be precipitated by stress.

We live in a society characterized by rapid changes. Since our systems are not generally evolved to tune into these rapid changes, it could lead to stressful life.

The human system is endowed with a natural response to combat life stresses. This is evident in the reaction to danger, stress, pressure or intimidating circumstance.

In the face of stress or danger, our inbuilt capacity quickly adapts a "fight or flight" response mode. This equips the body to achieve peak performance to combat the imminent stressful situation.

Delving into the mechanics of the body during a stressful situation, there is a virtual deluge of the key hormone called adrenaline into the body. This leads to the secretion of many more hormones, which conjointly raise the blood sugar as well as the blood pressure.

Co-relating this with the present day scenario of high stress amongst the work force, it comes as little surprise that the incidence of diabetes and hypertension is on a sharp increase. Stress is also known to be behind a host of psychosomatic disorders, of which bruxism happens to be a concrete example.

In Sleep Bruxism, chewing reflex remains active while the brain control is inactive. The result is an abnormal chewing action known as bruxism. Why this happens only in some people is not understood. Maybe it is a manifestation of suppressed stress. So, the key to modern day stress lies in grooming our children to accept stress as a way of life.

References:

  1. Bruxism - (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruxism)
  2. Bruxism (teeth grinding) - (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bruxism/DS00337)
  3. Bruxism Treatment - (http://www.sleepdisordersguide.com/bruxism-treatments.html)

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