5 Ways Stress Can Affect Your Oral Health

stress and oral healthStress can deeply impact the human body. Every person manifests stress differently. Some people overeat. Others don’t eat at all. Some people develop anxiety or anger, while others overcompensate for the uncontrollable feelings they’re experiencing by exhibiting attention-seeking behavior or developing an extreme routine. Any episodes of prolonged stress can dramatically affect your oral health too. What could teeth and stress possibly have to do with each other? Plenty.

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The Stressful Destruction of Oral Health

The behaviors that stress creates can be incredibly destructive to teeth and gums. Your dentist will know almost immediately during an exam if stress is manifesting itself in your mouth. But you may not even be aware of the things you’re doing that could be destroying your teeth.

Here are just five stress-created behaviors that could be ruining your oral health:

  1. Gnawing. Some people unconsciously bite things when they’re stressed. Whether they’re chomping down on a pen or pencil, their nails, or ice, anything that isn’t food could potentially do damage to your teeth.
    • Result: Chipped or broken teeth.
    • Solution: Your biomimetic dentist will do everything possible to restore your natural tooth in the least-invasive way, such as correcting a damaged tooth with dental onlays. When the damage is too great to overcome, a porcelain tooth crown will be put in place to restore the tooth’s functionality.
  1. Teeth grinding. Maybe you’re perfectly calm and collected during your waking hours, but you grind your teeth horribly while you sleep. You may even clench or grind your teeth during the day without even realizing how tightly you’re holding your mouth.
    • Result: Worn tooth enamel that is susceptible to decay and cracks. Habitual bruxism can also irritate the gums. TMJ dysfunction is possible, impacting a person’s ability to chew or speak comfortably while also causing headaches, tenderness, and facial soreness. Existing cosmetic or restorative dentistry can also be compromised by this bad habit.
    • Solution: When you just can’t break your tooth-grinding problem, an Aqualizer mouthpiece may be recommended by your biomimetic dentist. This mouthpiece also has indicators that help inform your dentist about just how severe the bruxism problem is and if other treatment may be necessary to correct the issue.
  1. Poor oral hygiene. People who are stressed may find their minds too distracted to take care of their oral health. Flossing daily may seem like just one more task on their plate that can fall by the wayside more often than not. We get it. You’re busy. You’re stressed by your job, family, health, and more. But ignoring your oral health or skipping professional dental cleanings and exams because you “don’t have time” is asking for bigger problems to develop – including more stress.
    • Result: Compromised oral health, tooth decay, and a likelihood of the development of cavities. Left for too long, poor oral hygiene could lead to periodontal disease and tooth loss.
    • Solution: Cavities call for mercury-free tooth-colored fillings, the natural-looking and safest solution for repairing tooth decay.
  1. Reduced saliva production. High levels of stress hormones can decrease saliva production. A dry mouth is a hot bed of bacteria. Combining this stress side effect with poor oral hygiene is a disaster. If you are in a constant state of stress and taking medication to combat any depression or anxiety, these prescriptions could also cause dry mouth.
    • Result: Tooth decay or gingivitis.
    • Solution: Kids and teens benefit the most from dental sealants, but anyone who knows they will have long-standing saliva production issues could benefit from this biomimetic oral health solution.
  1. Decreased immunity. Ever notice that when you’re stressed you’re more susceptible to colds and infections? Your immune system takes a hit thanks to stress.
    • Result: Mouth sores, gum disease.
    • Solution: Gum disease can develop more quickly when your immune system is compromised. Left to become severe, periodontitis could eventually lead to lost teeth, which demands restorative dentistry solutions like dental implants.

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Your biomimetic dentist is focused on preserving your oral health and limiting any procedures that damage a tooth’s natural structure. Contact Moorestown Dental Professionals in Moorestown, NJ, to discuss talk about how your stress may be negatively impacting your oral health.

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856-234-4474 for your free consultation or to schedule your dental appointment.