Bad Economy Ruins Teeth

Chewing on this: your stress is wrecking your mouth

By Ivanna Hampton
|  Wednesday, Feb 17, 2010  |  Updated 7:24 AM CDT
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Chicago dentists say texting during treatment's a problem.

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Think you're worried about money now? Just wait until your next dental exam.

Some Chicago-area dentists believe the lousy economic outlook is leading people to grind their teeth and clench their jaws more, and that is leading to increased tooth-repair bills.

"It's been because of the economy," Dr. William Frericks, a Chicago dentist said. "Can I pay for food on the table or my next rent check or mortgage? Those kinds of things have really come into play lately."

The Chicago Dental Society surveyed dentists in Cook, DuPage and Lake counties, and around 65-percent reported seeing more damage teeth because of  jaw-clenching and teeth-grinding, the Sun-Times reports.

Frericks said five or six more teeth-grinders a month are sitting in his chair at his Michigan Avenue practice. Since teeth-grinding usually happens when people sleep, patients second-guess him.

"A lot of times, they'll say, 'I'm not doing that,'" he said. But the grind don't lie.

Dentists recommend a plastic night guard to prevent patients from wearing down their teeth. Financial analysts recommend a diversified portfolio. 

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