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5 Signs Stress Affects Your Oral Health

July 21, 2017

You cannot deny that stress is a part of life, especially for the modern and on-the-go individual. A small amount of stress is good because it gets you going, but any excess can lead to all sorts of health issues. Stress can lead to headaches, anxiety disorders, irritability, panic attacks, and surprisingly, damage to your teeth as well.

More and more signs of stress are showing up in our clinics. Here are some of them:

Bruxism or Teeth Grinding

Stress can make you grind and clench your teeth day and night, especially during sleep. This can lead to severe teeth damage—bruxism can wear down the surfaces of your teeth and make them feel painful and loose.

Drop by our clinic to have your teeth checked, because if left untreated, bruxism can lead to temporomandibular disorders.

Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)

Stress also affects the jaws and the muscles that let you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Some symptoms include sore or tender jaw muscles, and problems with opening or closing your mouth.

Teeth grinding can lead to temporomandibular disorder or TMD. Symptoms include jaw pain, popping, and clicking of the jaw.

Mouth Sores

Stress can also lead to mouth sores or canker sores—small ulcers in the mouth often greyish and surrounded by a red ring. Researchers are not entirely sure what exactly causes the sores, but stress seems to contribute to the outbreak. Although they are harmless, these small ulcers appear in pairs or great numbers, and they can be very painful.

Gum Disease

Researchers found that long-term stress affects the immune system, increasing a person’s chance of contracting infections, such as periodontal or gum disease. Bleeding gums or gingivitis can lead to serious gum diseases. Maintain good oral hygiene to keep gum disease at bay.

Dry Mouth

Chronic stress, as well as some medications that cure depression, can cause xerostomia or dry mouth. When your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, it’s because of the high levels of hormones you release when you are stressed out. Saliva helps wash away food particles and harmful bacteria, so having a dry mouth puts you at higher risk for oral infections.

If you are experiencing high levels of stress, it might be a good idea to get your teeth checked. Our dental professionals can help you through our preventive dental care services that may minimize the need for expensive treatments in the future. �