Long-term stress can certainly hurt your health both physically and emotionally but one thing many people don’t know is that it can also cause negative effects on your teeth and mouth.
It’s important to pinpoint the causes of your stress and know your body’s early warning signs. Paying attention to oral symptoms of stress can provide clues to how it’s affecting the rest of your body.
6 ways stress affects your teeth
1. Teeth grinding and clenching: If you grind your teeth, you probably do it while you sleep. It’s a common oral health problem. It can cause headaches, a sore jaw, and damage to your teeth. Severe teeth grinding can cause loose teeth or even broken or lost teeth. Stress and anxiety are major causes of teeth grinding.
2. Gum disease: Stress can lower your immune system and increase your risk for infection in the mouth, including gum disease. Taking extra care when you can’t visit a dentist for regular cleanings can help keep bacterial plaque levels down in your mouth.
3. TMJ: Disorders of the jaw joint or chewing muscles. These can cause pain around the ear or face. Swelling or stiffness in these joints can cause a TMJ disorder. Symptoms can include pain, clicking, and popping. Stress is a major cause of TMJ problems.
4. Dry mouth: A dry, hot, and burning feeling in your mouth. Stress, anxiety, and depression may be part of the problem. Dry mouth syndrome is more common in women after menopause, so hormone changes may also be involved. Stress-related smoking and drinking can make burning the mouth worse.
5. Canker sores: Several studies now show that stress is another big trigger for canker sores. You may be able to reduce canker sores by reducing stress.
6. Nail-Biting: A stress-related habit that can be harmful to your oral health and your overall health. Nail-biting can move your teeth out of position. It can also damage your teeth. Adding the germs from your fingernails to the germs in your mouth can lead to mouth infections.
Try to Limit Stress:
Stress and oral health are a vicious cycle. Experiencing stress can be the cause of many teeth, mouth, gum, or jaw problems, but experiencing oral health problems can lead to more stress which then exacerbates the problems. It’s crucial to deal with the sources of stress in your life before they can have a chance to impact your oral health. Every step you take to reduce stress helps. The more you take care of yourself and the more you experience pleasure, the better you will be able to handle stressful situations when they come your way.
If stress has already caused oral health issues for you, it’s important that you work with your dentist to work out how to successfully treat them and further preventative measures so that you don’t find yourself stuck in this endless cycle of stress and poor oral health. Contact Search Dental if you have any questions or concerns about your dental health!