How Stress Can Affect Your Teeth and Mouth
It’s no secret; chronic stress can lead to depression, anxiety, migraines, insomnia, and irritability, among a plethora of other symptoms. In turn, your sleeping and appetite cycle downgrades, thus deteriorating your overall physical, as well as mental health. One thing people often overlook is the repercussions of long-term stress on their teeth and mouth. Here we discuss the top four severe effects of stress on your teeth and gums:
Grinding Your Teeth
Grinding your teeth typically occurs when you’re sleeping and is a common oral health problem. Plus, experts link grinding your teeth with an array of triggers, however, stress is one of the most prominent triggers. You should never ignore teeth grinding since it can lead to severe chronic conditions. Some of the symptoms of grinding your teeth include:
- Sleep disorders
- Abnormal tooth wear
- TMJ disorder
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Jaw pain
- Change in appearance of your face
A good way to combat this is by meditating, counseling, or exercising. These can help reduce stress that, in turn, ensures you don’t grind your teeth. Moreover, your dentist may recommend you to wear a tooth guard during the night.
TMJ, otherwise known as temporomandibular joints, correlates to high levels of stress. These joints help ensure the proper movement of your lower jaw and are present just below your ear. Various stressful situations trigger the overuse of jaw muscles in some people. It may result in you clenching or grinding your teeth.
The symptoms of TMJ disorder include pain, clicking, and popping. To fight this, your dentist may recommend you to follow a soft diet, meditate, or try anti-anxiety medication.
Research at Tuft University shows a link between stress and gum disease. Their in-depth study reveals that when your body experiences stress, your body comprises immune cells protecting you against bacteria. In turn, bacteria thrive inside your body and increases inflammation
Plus, the effect stress has on your immune system handicaps immune cells fighting bacteria causing periodontal diseases, ultimately making you susceptible to gum infections.
If you experience hot and burning sensations in your mouth, you may be suffering from burning mouth syndrome. Stress, depression, anxiety, and post-menopause may cause burning mouth syndrome.
A good way to combat this is by going for stress counseling and taking antidepressants. Plus, decreasing alcohol intake and smoking can help improve symptoms as well.
A lack of healthy and effective coping strategies can negatively affect you psychologically, as well as physically. Above were four stress-related situations that often lead to poor oral health. Multiple types of research show a strong correlation between depression and anxiety and dental problems.
If you’re experiencing any situations relevant to stress that lead to low oral health, it’s time to book an appointment with a dentist. Our experts help you find effective strategies to reduce and cope with your stress all the while discussing treatments for oral health conditions you may be experiencing.