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Friday, 16 June, 2000, 10:09 GMT 11:09 UK
Exams are bad for your teeth
teeth
Excessive tooth grinding can wear teeth down
Exams are bad for your teeth, according to dentists.

The British Dental Association (BDA) is warning that stressed pupils who grind their teeth, bite their fingernails and chew pencils could damage their jaws.

It says relaxation techniques and jaw exercises can help students suffering the consequences of exam pressure.

The association says that most people clench or grind their teeth at some time in their lives, but that stress and tension can cause excessive grinding, known as bruxism.

Enamel loss

A spokesman said: "In particular, students tend to suffer from this problem around exam time, as do people in high-pressure jobs.

"Biting fingernails, chewing pencils or cheek-biting are all part of the same spectrum and are well recognised as signs of stress."

The BDA says excessive tooth grinding can cause teeth to wear down, leading to loss of enamel, and sensitive teeth.

Continuous clenching puts considerable strain on the muscles of the jaw used for biting, and can cause pain, stiffness, headaches and even the symptoms of lockjaw.

The association recommends that students visit a dentist if their jaws are aching

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See also:

31 Mar 00 | Education
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02 Nov 99 | Education
Massage lessons for stressed pupils
01 Jun 99 | Education
Schools massage away exam stress
25 May 99 | Features
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