November 7th is national stress awareness day and did you know there is a link between stress and dental health? If you are like most Americans you often experience stress. Almost 80 percent of individuals experience stress on a daily basis and your local dentists at Smile Workshop Balch Springs wanted to take a moment to discuss just what kind of relationship there is between stress and dental health.
Stress and Dental Health
Stress is a common cause of many health problems, and dental health is no exception. Stress may contribute to teeth grinding, gum disease, dry mouth and canker sores, or even impact your oral health routine and diet. Leading to an increased risk of tooth decay. Below is a list of dental health conditions influenced by stress.
Teeth Grinding: Clenching or grinding teeth can cause damage to your teeth and your enamel. It can also cause headaches and general soreness in the jaw. Most teeth grinding happens at night while asleep meaning you may not even be aware you are doing it. Be sure to talk to your local dentist who may recommend a night guard to protect your teeth from damage.
Canker Sores: While harmless, these white spots found on soft tissue in the mouth can be painful. They will usually go away on their own within a week or two. If not, be sure to talk to your local dentist who may prescribe a rinse or some sort of topical treatment
Gum Disease and Tooth Decay: Stress can lower your immune system and increase your risk for infection in the mouth, including gum disease. If stress impacts your diet, it can also have an impact on your mouth’s dental hygiene leading to tooth decay and gum disease.
Dry Mouth: Dry mouth can be a side effect of both stress as well as the medicines used to treat stress, depression and mood. Saliva is the first line of defense in your mouth’s arsenal to fight off bacteria, so not having enough can lead to increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease and infection.
Stress is something everyone has to deal with, but it’s side effects and their severity are different for each individual. Is stress affecting your dental health? Give us a call or schedule an appointment today!
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