Is Stress Affecting Your Oral Health?
Everyone feels stressed from time to time. According to the American
Institute of Stress (AIS), nearly 44 percent of American’s feel more stressed than they did five years ago, and 20 percent of people experience extreme stress. Stress can seriously affect your body including your mouth and teeth!
Grinding and Clenching
If you notice that the tips of your teeth appear flatter than they once did, or if your teeth become extremely sensitive, you may be grinding or clenching without even knowing it. A sore jaw is another symptom to look out for. Your dentist can determine if this is a serious problem for you and prescribe a treatment, which may include wearing a custom mouth guard in bed.
Stress may be at the root of some dry mouth conditions since some medications, including those you might take for stress, can cause dry mouth. Stress might also move you to breathe more with your mouth, and the incoming air can lead to dryer conditions in your mouth. Dry mouth can increase your risk of cavities and make chewing and swallowing uncomfortable. Drinking water and using specially designed dry mouth products such as mouthwash may help to a degree, but it is important to address the underlying cause of your dry mouth, whether that is stress, medication, or another health condition such as diabetes.
Canker sores, or mouth ulcers, are simply painful sores inside your mouth. If you brush too hard, or if you chew your tongue or cheeks, you may experience canker sores. Research also indicates that stress can increase the risk of developing canker sores. You might be able to treat canker sores by yourself at home using herbs or other remedies such as coconut oil. However, severe canker sores may require professional medical attention.
What to Do About Stress
Look for ways to manage your stress. You can use stress-reducing techniques and activities to achieve a calm outlook. Your doctor should be able to give you some tips on how to deal with stress and its symptoms.
It’s also worth it to put your dental insurance to work and visit us here at Petaluma Dental Group. Your dentist can evaluate just how much stress has affected your oral health and recommend treatments to get your smile back in tip-top shape.
Stress may be unavoidable sometimes, but by being aware of the symptoms of stress-related oral conditions, you can get in front of problems before they become too serious.