5 Ways Stress Affects Your Teeth and How You Can Avoid It

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Everybody reacts differently to stress. Stress and anxiety cause more harm than good to both your oral and overall health. Understandably, pressure, uncertainty, and overwhelming responsibilities can cause stress. However, when under stress, the body releases hormones that can weaken the immune system and trigger unhealthy habits.

How Can Stress Affect Your Oral Health?

The effects of stress on oral health are not noticeable till the damages are devastating. Early detection of your body’s response to stress can save your oral health. This post discusses how stress can affect your teeth; kindly read on for more information.

Teeth Grinding and Clenching

Bruxism is a term for teeth grinding and clenching, and it is a sign of stress and anxiety. Usually, bruxism occurs when you are asleep, and you may not even notice that you grind your teeth. The constant friction between your upper and lower teeth can wear down your tooth enamel and even strain your jaws. Symptoms of bruxism include; chipped or loose teeth, tight jaws, pain in your temple, and increased tooth sensitivity.

You should visit a dental clinic near you if you have symptoms of bruxism to get a customized nighttime mouthguard. You can also practice mindfulness during the day to prevent teeth grinding. It is also advisable to chew only food and avoid hard foods like popcorn or candy.

Gum Disease

Stress can reduce your body’s ability to fight infections, increasing the risks of gum disease. Gum disease or periodontitis occurs when there is an infection in the gums, causing loose teeth, bad breath, and bleeding gums.

Mild gum disease can often be treated by maintaining proper oral hygiene. However, it would be best if you visited a dentist for a diagnosis and adequate treatment.

Dry Mouth

The saliva keeps the teeth moist, fights bacteria, and removes food particles from the teeth. Stress can affect the nervous system, causing salivary glands to stop producing enough saliva. When the mouth fails to produce enough saliva, you get a dry mouth. Symptoms of dry mouth include bad breath, thick and stringy saliva, difficulty speaking, chewing, and swallowing. You may also have a feeling of stickiness in your mouth.

You can treat dry mouth by chewing sugar-free gum, sipping water regularly, avoiding alcohol-containing mouth wash, and limiting caffeine and tobacco use. General dentistry in NYC can treat persistent dry mouth.

Canker Sores

Canker sores are painful sores on mouth tissues. Stress can lead to biting your lips and mouth often, causing canker sores. Canker sores are usually round or oval, and they have a whitish or yellowish center and a red border. You may have canker sores inside your mouth, on the tongue, or inside the cheeks or lips.

Although you may get a tingling or burning sensation in your mouth, small canker sores should clear up within a day or two. If you have large or persistent canker sores, visit a dentist for treatment.

Infection

Oral infections occur when your immune system cannot fight bacteria. When you have oral infections, you may have tender gums, foul taste, and swollen gums.

You can treat mouth infections by rinsing your mouth with a salt solution to kill off bacteria. You should also drink water often and maintain proper oral hygiene.

How to Avoid Stress-Related Oral Health Problems

Although, there are times when pressure can be overwhelming, leading to stress. Below are tips that not only provide stress relief but also preserve your oral health.

  • Taking a warm bath or applying a warm towel to your jaw
  • Massaging your jaw muscles
  • Exercising
  • Going for regular oral health checkups
  • Maintaining a balanced diet
  • Drinking water regularly
  • Avoiding hot, acidic, or spicy foods

Conclusion

Stress happens to everyone. Although everyone reacts differently to stress, it can still cause devastating effects on your oral health. Regularly visiting the best dentists in NYC can help detect stress-related oral health problems and also treat them.

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