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Teeth-grinding in teenagers could be a sign they are being bullied at school, research suggests.
An oral health charity said parents and schools should be aware of the problem, which can also affect adults who are stressed and anxious.
Teeth-grinding can lead to headaches, worn-down teeth and disrupted sleep – and it appears to be on the rise, experts say.
The sound of grinding has been compared to the noise from a circular saw.
A study published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation found that 13 to 15-year-olds who experienced verbal bullying at school were nearly four times as likely to suffer from teeth-grinding at night, or sleep bruxism, than other teenagers.
That equated to 65% among the bullied students, compared to 17% among the others.
The research looked at the experiences of more than 300 adolescents in Brazil.
Dr Nigel Carter, from the Oral Health Foundation, said bruxism was also something to look out for in the UK.
“Grinding teeth may not sound like a priority within the wider picture, but it could prove to give a vital insight into a child’s state of mind and could be an important sign for us to identify bullying at an earlier stage.”
He said sleep bruxism could be particularly damaging – but people were often unaware they were doing it.

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