We all know that stress is bad for our mental health, but did you know that it can also have a negative impact on our teeth and gums? In this blog post, we will discuss six ways that stress affects oral health. So, if you are struggling with dental problems and you think stress might be the culprit, read on!
1) Teeth Grinding
If you find yourself grinding your teeth, it could be a sign that you are stressed. Teeth grinding (or bruxism) is a common condition that can lead to a number of dental problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and TMJ.
If you think you might be grinding your teeth, see your dentist for an evaluation. You may need to wear a mouthguard at night to protect your teeth from further damage.
2) Jaw Clenching
Like teeth grinding, jaw clenching is often a sign of stress. When we clench our jaws, we put unnecessary pressure on our teeth and gums, which can lead to pain and damage.
So, if you find yourself clenching your jaw, try to relax your face and jaw muscles. It may also help to massage your jaw or hold a warm cloth against it.
3) Dry Mouth
Stress can cause us to produce less saliva, which can lead to dry mouth. Dry mouth can make it difficult to eat and speak, and it can also increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
To help combat dry mouth, drink plenty of water and chew sugar-free gum or candy. You should also avoid tobacco products and alcohol, as they can further contribute to dry mouth.
4) Poor Oral Hygiene Practices
When we are stressed, we may be less likely to take care of our teeth and gums properly. We may skip brushing and flossing, or we may not brush and floss as thoroughly as we should. This can lead to an increase in plaque and tartar, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
If you want to help keep your mouth healthy, be sure to brush twice a day and floss daily. You should also see your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups.
5) Canker Sores
Canker sores are small, painful ulcers that can form on the inside of the mouth. They are often caused by stress, as well as other factors such as nutritional deficiencies, allergies, and hormones.
To help heal canker sores and prevent them from coming back, see if a dental health professional can recommend an ointment, mouthwash, or other procedure for treatment. You may also want to try using a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritating the sore.
6) Gum Disease
Stress can weaken the immune system, which can make it more difficult for your body to fight off bacteria and infections. This can lead to an increase in gum disease, which is an infection of the gums that can cause redness, swelling, and bleeding. If left untreated, it can damage the gums and bones, and lead to tooth loss.
If you think you might have gum disease, see a dental health professional for an evaluation. They will be able to recommend the best course of treatment for you.
The Bottom Line
While stress affects our oral health in a number of ways, there are things we can do to mitigate the effects. Be sure to practice good oral hygiene habits, see a dental professional regularly, and try to reduce stress in your life. If you are struggling with dental problems and you think stress might be to blame, talk to a dental professional about ways to improve your oral health. Your teeth and gums will thank you for it!
If you’re looking for a wellness-based dental facility, Hale Wellness Dental Studio may be the right fit for you. Click here to inquire about an appointment today!