Grinding and clenching are not caused by dental issues, but they can be a dental problem. While research has linked grinding to antidepressants, the underlying reason may be social anxiety.
A recent study of adults in their early 30s found moderate to severe dental wear at a significantly higher rate among those who were diagnosed with social anxiety.
Most cases of grinding and clenching, called bruxism, are mild, but more serious levels can result in tooth damage as well as jaw pain. Social anxiety is not the only possible cause of bruxism, but the study found that social anxiety can cause grinding and clenching in some people, resulting in dental issues.
The good news is that awareness of the issue can help to resolve it. Counseling, relaxation techniques, and other treatment can help those who may otherwise continue to develop dental problems from grinding their teeth due to social anxiety.
The study was published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation.