How Does Stress Affect Your Oral Health?

How Does Stress Affect Your Oral Health?

March 1, 2023

Stress can silently affect your oral and overall health. The effect on dental health usually starts unconsciously. Early detection of body response during distress can help you save your teeth, jaws, and gums from the negative implications of stress. As per the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, nearly two-thirds of individuals diagnosed with depression claimed tooth pain.

The Cycle of Stress and Dental Health

Dental health and stress is a dangerous cycle. Getting oral health issues can result in more stress. It makes the issue worse. Therefore, it’s essential to manage the stress sources that negatively affect your dental health. If stress has already caused dental health problems, make sure you consult with your dental professional. He/she will help you suggest preventive measures and other appropriate restorative dentistry treatments.

How Does Stress Affect Dental Health?

The dentist can help you determine the symptoms of stress on your dental health. These may be:

Bruxism

In stressful situations, most people do not see that they are clenching or grinding their teeth. But the dentist will. During this, the constant pressure in the lower and upper teeth can make the enamel wear out. It results in stressing your jaws. The most common symptoms of bruxism are increased tooth sensitivity, pain in the ear or temple area, and tight jaws.

Teeth grinding or bruxism can occur during the daytime when you are concentrating or at night. The condition mainly occurs when you are anxious and stressed.

Bad Dental Hygiene

Under stress, most people tend to forget the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene. When this happens, you are at a high risk of gum disease and decay. Poor oral hygiene can be due to less self-care at home or an imbalanced diet. Stress makes our body remove the protective minerals while increasing the bacteria, acidic and cavity-causing environment in the mouth.

Dry Mouth

Saliva is an essential component of our mouth. It not only eradicates the food bits from our teeth but fights-off bacteria, keeping teeth well moisturized and remineralized enamel too. But when we are in stress, we have less saliva production than normal. It ultimately leads to the risk of dental problems.

Low Immune Response

Stress makes our immune system weak. This makes it difficult for our bodies to fight off infection. Also, increased cortisol levels encourage the production of proteins in the gums. It enhances the risk of gum diseases.

Canker Sores

Canker sores are mouth ulcers that appear inside the mouth. They can be caused by consuming highly acidic foods, stress, biting on cheeks, mouth injury, vitamin-D deficiency, etc.

Many studies have shown that stress is the big reason behind canker sores. Although these painful lesions are harmless, non-contagious, and heal within one week or two, they can be irritating.

Clenched Jaws

The human body has a defense system we usually don’t see. Muscle tension is a reflex reaction of our body against stress. Chronic stress produces frequent muscle tension in the “jaw” area. This results in painful tight jaws or Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction.

The condition can also make it hard to open your mouth. If your clenched jaws are causing pain and discomfort in the jaws and around the ears, get in touch with dental experts at Roman Dental Arts.

Cold Sore Blisters

Stress can also cause cold sore blisters in the mouth. They last between 5 to 7 days. The “herpes simplex virus” causes this condition. Stressful situations make this virus active. The most common area where the cold sore blisters occur is on the corners of the mouth or lips.

Maintaining Dental Health under Stress is Extremely Crucial

Consider the following tips to ensure a good set of teeth and gums while you are under stress:

Stick to Good Hygiene Routine
Another way to fight stress that affects oral health is to stick to a good dental hygiene routine. It includes using mouthwash, flossing daily, brushing twice a day, and fixing a regular dental appointment. The professional will use the latest dental technology and recommend the appropriate treatment depending on your signs.

Do Exercises at Home

When dealing with stress and anxiety, we often ignore self-care. But that is important. So another effective method to maintain your dental health when stressed is meditation, exercise, and yoga.

if you are finding quality dental services in Hackensack, NJ, call our clinic.