Worrying About Economy Could Land You in Dentist's Chair - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Worrying About Economy Could Land You in Dentist's Chair

by: Kristen Guilfoos

Amarillo, Texas - The daily grind is causing a nightly grind. NewsChannel 10's Kristen Guilfoos has more on how the tough economy is affecting dental health.

For many local residents, the stress of our struggling economy is too much to handle... They're worried about things like finding a job, making a house payment, and soaring interest rates. 

A lot of times, that stress puts people in the dentist chair... We spoke with several dentists who tell us they're seeing a record number of patients in their offices with teeth grinding problems. That stress-related teeth grinding can have serious consequences.

Dr. Tom Karr says, "broken teeth, chipped teeth, worn teeth. It can cause muscle and joint pain. TMJ pain that can lead to headaches. Cause some ligament damage, some damage to the joint that really can't be repaired short of surgery in some cases."

For those that don't need surgery, teeth grinding can often be remedied with a night guard.

On top of that, Dr. Karr says he often counsels patients, hoping to get to the root of the problem, and teaching them better ways to manage that stress.

Many people don't even know they're grinding their teeth... An easy way to tell is chronic headaches in the morning, along with jaw pain and pressure.

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