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Can Stress Affect Oral Health ?

Many people suffer from stress in our lives, and little do we know that, the stress we carry can affect our dental health. We all know the effect that stress causes on our bodies, to some it causes the lack of sleep, and to others it can cause anxiety and even panic attacks at times. Not only can that but these also lead up to irritability and grogginess when the lack of sleep is present. Knowing that stress can affect your body is one thing but knowing it affects your oral health is another serious matter. Not only does stress contribute to bring  several conditions such as: bruxism, canker sores, dry mouth, TMJ/TMD disorder, gum disease and others such as lichen planus, and burning mouth syndrome.

Stress - business person stressed at office. Business woman holding coffee cup with STRESS written. Overworked and over caffeinated female businesswoman.

Gum disease is a serious condition which shows up when a long term stress has been happening. This condition shows up such as periodontal disease an infection in which it affects out immune system. Another factor of this would be lichen planus this occurs when viral infections caused by stress and this are characterized by white lines in the mouth, also sores, and ulcers in the oral cavity. Bruxism is also caused by stress when we are stressed we tend to grind our teeth more often during night and also day which leads to teeth damage. For some of these conditions there is a solution for example for bruxism a night guard is recommended to protect your jaw. A night guard can also be recommended for another condition such as TMJ/ TMD. Not only are all of the conditions will seem to be as noticeable as others. Having a dry mouth is another condition of stress related problem, you can experience chronic dryness as your mouth won’t be producing enough saliva. This is a common condition for stress. Not only is a dry mouth q common side effect if stress but is also a common side effect of used of drugs or medication to treat depression. Furthermore, not only will stress be a big part to trigger these conditions but also out ability to tolerate pain will be compromised as our bodies start to adapt to stressful situation; and as a result of this when tooth pain can become more extreme at time when stress is present.

If you are feeling stressed take time to focus on your oral hygiene and yourself. Don’t forget to take proper care of your eating habits other measures to help reduce stress in your life. Eating well, exercising and getting plenty of sleep will definitely help lower stress levels. If you suffer or think someone is suffering from extreme anxiety or depression doesn’t hesitate and seek professional help. If you are worried that stress might be affecting your gums and teeth visit our dentist. If you have any questions feel free to contact our Santa Ana Smiles on Bristol Dentist Dr. Danial Kalantari at our office. Contact Us