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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
  • Headaches
  • 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 Disorder

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.

Gum Diseases

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.

Burning Mouth

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.

 

The Takeaway

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.

 

Sources

https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/oral-health/6-ways-stress-can-affect-your-oral-health#:~:text=Stress%20makes%20it%20harder%20for,your%20jaw%2C%20or%20smoke%20cigarettes

https://www.smilefortcollins.com/5-ways-stress-affects-your-teeth-and-gums/

 

Empty Dentist Chair

Believe it or not, there is a consistent belief that if you are seeing an orthodontist for treatment, such as braces, it shouldn’t be necessary to see a dentist as well. After all, both are doctors that are working on your teeth, so why should you see both? However, while orthodontists and dentists work in the same area of the body, they are entirely different specialties. If anything, having braces means that it is even more important to maintain all elements of your oral health routine, including dental visits.

 

What Is the Role of a Dentist?

 

A good analogy for the role of a dentist in your life is that of your primary care provider in your life. You see your PCP for a regular checkup. Many issues they can treat on their own and you don’t see anyone else and can go about your life. Sometimes, you’ll need to see a specialist, like an ear-nose-throat doctor or any number of specialties. Just because you start seeing a specialist, it doesn’t mean that you should stop seeing your primary care provider. If anything, keeping your regular doctor apprised of any medical issues or treatments from your specialist is a prudent tactic. This is exactly how the relationship between you, your dentist, and your orthodontist should be during treatment.

 

Why Is Seeing Your Dentist So Important?

 

Braces do a lot of good for you during the treatment period, fixing alignment problems and alleviating a host of potential oral health issues. However, like any treatment in medicine, there are side effects. One of the side effects of braces is that it can make your teeth more susceptible to plaque and tartar build-up. While this can be addressed by the rest of your normal oral health routine, getting professional dental cleanings is the only way to remove this buildup from your teeth. You should pay more attention and perhaps even schedule more frequent dental cleanings during your orthodontic treatment just to stay on top of these issues. As a result, many orthodontists recommend that you see a dentist for cleanings more frequently during braces – as much as two to four times per year during the treatment.

 

Maintaining your dental health during an orthodontist treatment is vital. This means continuing diligence with your at-home care routine, including teeth brushing and flossing. In addition, that may mean extra visits with your dentist. Your dentist and orthodontist can help you chart out a treatment plan that ensures you are at your maximum oral health throughout your orthodontics treatment.

 

Contact us today to learn more and gain the smile you want!