How Stress Can Affect Your Oral Health

You have probably heard most people saying that life is harder today than it was a decade ago. Currently, the whole world is struggling to stay sane due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s, therefore, no surprise that people are more stressed today than they were a decade ago. We all know that stress affects your mental health, but did you know that too much stress can also harm your oral health? If you happen to notice mouth sores, gum issues, or headaches, then you need to visit a dentist immediately. Dr. Archer M. Katz of Emerson Dental Arts is a skilled dentist offering both emergency and cosmetic dentistry services in New Jersey.

Six common oral health disorders experienced today are stress-related, they include:

Teeth Grinding

Too much stress can cause teeth clenching, also known as bruxism. Most people are never aware because it happens when they are asleep. The most common signs you should look for are sharp edges or chipped teeth.

During an interview with Harper’s Bazaar to Dr. Marques, a celeb dentist stated that extreme teeth grinding can get to the nerve, and this can only be treated by performing a root canal to remove the damaged nerve.

The best option would be to visit the dentist immediately. However, if you are not able to do that because of COVID-19, you should consider buying a nightguard until it’s safe to see your dentist again.

Gum Disease

Bleeding gums after flossing or brushing your teeth are some of the main symptoms of gum disease—the most common being periodontitis, which affects half of the adult population in the US. People with braces or poor dentition have a high risk of gum disease because it’s challenging to reach some areas when brushing.

Treatment includes descaling for plaque removal or gum surgery in severe cases. A periodontist does this. 

TMD

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) affect nerves, jaw muscles, and temporomandibular joints resulting in chronic facial pain. There are many reasons for TMD, such as bruxism and arthritis. However, stress may also worsen the symptoms of TMD.

According to the Ontario Dental Association, stress can lead to soft jaws, headaches, as well as swelling.

Dry Mouth

Too much stress prevents your body’s salivary glands from producing enough saliva, making your mouth feel dry and sticky. Additionally, stress medication such as antidepressants and beta-blockers can lead to dry mouth. Some symptoms of dry mouth include having trouble speaking, a burning sensation, and, at times, difficulty in swallowing.

Stress can lead to halitosis, also known as bad breath. This is because stress causes your stomach acids to build-up resulting in acid reflux.

Canker Sores

Canker sores are painful sores that form on the mouth tissue and are a result of excessive brushing or cheek biting. Cheek biting is a coping mechanism for stress. Stress worsens compulsive self-injury habits.

Canker sores usually take two weeks to heal and can go away on their own. Alternatively, you could buy a numbing agent or try a saltwater gargle.

Infection

Stress affects your immune systems by increasing the risks of getting a bacterial infection. This may result in abscess around the teeth and inside your gums. A dentist will often recommend antibiotics unless the infection is severe.

Even though it might be difficult to avoid getting stressed, you should always seek help to prevent it from affecting your quality of life. If you begin to experience some of the dental issues mentioned in this article, you should reach out to an experienced dentist such as Dr. Katz at Emerson Dental Arts for highly customized services. 

 



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