In our fast-paced lifestyles, stress has become a common thing. We often avoid it, but it’s definitely not something to dismiss so lightly. In fact, stress could cause serious consequences for your overall health.
Stress and oral health have a strong link as well. Dentists always include stress as a cause of damaged teeth and gums. Teeth grinding, nail-biting or burning mouth are all considered stress-related oral problems.
Stress is also associated with an increased susceptibility to infections, including such of gum tissue, also known as periodontitis. Canker sores and dry mouth are also identified as oral conditions that worsen during times of emotional disturbance.
In this post we’re going to list some of the ways stress affects your teeth and gums and what can you do to avoid these pitfalls from the stresses of life.
Stress is among the most common triggers of teeth grinding. It can cause you to clench your teeth at night or slide them back and forth over each other. Other triggers include misaligned teeth and jaws or sleep apnea.
Teeth grinding (Bruxism) is a condition that should never be ignored. If left untreated it can cause more serious, chronic conditions. The symptoms include sleep disorders, jaw pain, headaches, abnormal tooth wear, broken or chipped teeth, and TMJ disorder.
In case of teeth grinding you might need custom night guards that you can wear when you sleep, to help treat the symptoms and most importantly protect your teeth from the damage grinding cause to them.
Actually, the exact cause of canker sores has not been determined but is linked to how you process stress and anxiety. They are more common in women and often surface during high levels of stress.
As there is no exact cause pinpointed, the possible one includes mouth injuries, sports accidents, cheek bites, products containing sodium lauryl sulfate, brushing too hard, allergic reaction, hormonal shifts or emotional stress.
However, if you suffer from occasional attacks of painful mouth ulcers, they most commonly develop due to Vitamin B deficiency and high levels of stress.
It’s known that there’s a solid link between stress and gum disease. When the body is experiencing stress, its ability to manufacture immune cells to protect against bacteria is compromised.
Stress handicaps your immune system, which allows bacteria to thrive and inflammation to increase. What it does is affect your overall immune system, which fights against bacteria that cause periodontal disease making a person prone to gum infections. If you notice or feel like your gums are inflamed, it’s crucial to consult a dentist as soon as possible.
Our self-care practices are among the first things that go by the wayside when we’re under significant stress. Neglecting ourselves, in general, is a common thing in such situations. Poor sleep usually leaves us with no energy to complete even simple tasks like brushing or flossing.
Furthermore, stress affects our nutrition choices. It prompts us to eat more sugary foods, which can cause extreme damage to our oral health, especially if you don’t give your mouth the attention it needs with regular, quality oral hygiene practices.
First of all, you need to be honest with yourself. Thinking about the way you are handling stress is the first step towards making a change. If you are able to define that you are under stress, you need to decide how to decrease it and get rid of it in a healthy manner.
It’s definitely not something that you have to do on your own. At Gallegos Family Dentistry we can provide you with the information you need in order to recognize and treat stress and anxiety. We can also offer tools like mouthguards that could help you protect your teeth from damages and get better sleep.
We are all dealing with stress at some point in our lives. However, it’s important to not neglect that fact and look for healthy ways to deal with it. As for your oral health, Dr. Gallegos could help you with preventative dentistry measures, so that you can be sure no damage is caused to your teeth.
If you want to learn more about how stress affects your teeth and gums and find out if your mouth is showing signs of stress-related wear don’t be afraid and call our office today! Together we can find healthy ways to deal with stress you might currently be experiencing and protect your teeth and gums from potential harm.