How Stress Affects Dental Health
August 26, 2022
Stress, no matter the source, can take a toll on your body, including your oral health. There are various signs and issues that stress is affecting your oral health. Visits to the dentist can also aid in detecting these problems. Here are five ways stress can contribute to dental issues.
1. Poor Oral Hygiene
Overall, when stressed, self-care can be an afterthought or simply a task that seems too daunting to complete. Completely ignoring your regular dental routine can lead to serious issues such as tooth decay or gum disease.
2. Jaw Problems
Stress can often cause tension throughout our body as it can be the automatic reaction to protect against injury and pain. When it comes to your oral health, this constant muscle tension in your jaw can lead to TMJ. This condition causes pain in your jaw and around your ears which makes it difficult to open your mouth and chew food.
3. Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is mostly brought on by stress or anxiety. This can happen both during the day and even at night, without most people even realizing it is happening. Teeth grinding causes significant wear and tear on your teeth, resulting in chipped or loose teeth, tooth sensitivity, tongue indentations and pain in your temples.
4. Oral Infections or Sores
Stress can be a major trigger for canker sores. Oral infections or sores, which may show up as ulcers, white lines, or white or red spots. Long-term stress can also weaken the immune system which can leave your mouth vulnerable to harmful bacteria that can cause infection, gum disease, tooth decay and other oral issues.
5. Dry Mouth
When feeling stressed, saliva flow can decrease causing dry mouth. Saliva helps protect dental health by removing food particles, keeping the teeth moist, and fighting harmful bacteria. When this happens, there is an increase of plaque build-up, resulting in a higher likelihood of dental problems.
Don’t let your stress impact your smile. Our team at Beall Dental Center is here to help keep your teeth healthy. Give us a call and we can help find out if your mouth is showing signs of stress-related conditions.