You probably have a pretty good understanding of how stress affects your systemic health, increasing your risk for various diseases, but many people underestimate how psychological turmoil can impact their oral health, too. It’s true. Uncontrolled stress can damage your teeth and gums.
The most common manifestation of stress in our dental health is probably bruxism, or unconscious grinding or clenching of the teeth. This typically occurs during sleep, so the patient may not even be aware of the problem until the teeth become visibly damaged.
If you or a sleeping partner have noticed signs that you may be grinding your teeth during the night, your dentist can create a custom-designed mouthguard to prevent the jaws from meeting and stop the teeth grinding.
A custom-fitted mouthguard will be more comfortable, so the patient is more likely to wear it, making it potentially more effective.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are another dental problem that can be caused or exacerbated by stress. When the various components of the jaw do not work together properly, the patient can experience significant discomfort. Muscle strain brought on by stress can be a contributing factor in TMJ disorders.
Your dentist can also help you overcome this issue by examining the jaw and making recommendations for treatment, such as stress management techniques or exercises to reduce tension in the jaw.
Your gum tissue can also suffer from stress, as there is a strong correlation between stress and inflammation in the human body. Inflammation is associated with gum disease, so excess stress levels can increase your susceptibility to this condition, too.
At times of stress, it’s important to practice stress management techniques, if possible, to protect your oral health. You should also be vigilant in monitoring for signs of dental issues and make time to stick to your home oral hygiene routine.
Stress can affect your mouth, as well as the rest of your body. Be on the lookout for ways that your stress is affecting your smile, and seek dental treatment if you pick up on any problems.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Dental Depot today.