Teeth grinding is widely misunderstood by the public and most dentists…
The biggest misconception is that teeth grinding is the result of stress. Teeth grinding is not initiated by stress.
There is an area of the brain called the limbic system. It is in this area of the brain that some people are genetically programmed to grind their teeth. There is nothing that the medical profession can do to stop it. As dentists we can ameliorate the destruction of a patients teeth through the use of oral night time appliances. So as you can see the overriding issue as to whether you are genetically programmed in limbic system to grind your teeth-not stress. It is a central nervous system issue – not a stress issue.
Allow me to further make the stress related distinction. If you are genetically programmed to grind your teeth and you are under stress, you may and probably will grind your teeth. If, on the other hand, you are not genetically programmed to grind your teeth and you are under stress you will not grind your teeth. In studies of severely retarded people some grind their teeth and as for as we know, they are not under stress. This helps prove the point.
There are a number of other informative and interesting facts about tooth grinding. I will continue this discussion next month.