Whether you are a struggling college student, a busy mom or someone trying to climb the corporate ladder, stress is nearly inevitable at every stage of life. While you may know how stress impacts your energy, weight or digestion, you may not realize the sneaky ways that stress can compromise your oral health.
If you consider yourself anxious or stressed more times than not, you’ll need to watch for these dental health concerns:
Bruxism, or the grinding or clenching of teeth, is a common oral habit that is induced by stress. Whether you do it subconsciously during the day or while you sleep, bruxism can cause TMJ problems and enamel damage.
During a stressful or “fight or flight” moment, your body may shift its fluids (saliva or sweat) to other parts of your body. It is common to experience more moisture in your sweat glands and less moisture in your mouth. A dry mouth is dangerous to your oral health because we need saliva to help wash away harmful bacteria and food debris that contributes to plaque formation.
Do you notice more frequent mouth sores when you’ve been on edge, anxious or stressed? Canker sores as well as a condition called lichen planus have been linked to stress. Lichen planus involves sores, ulcers, and white striations in the mouth.
Gum disease is not directly caused by your stress levels. However, chronic stress does weaken your immune system, which means your mouth is less equipped to fight off the bacteria that causes gum disease.
Let us Help Your “Stressed-Out” Smile
While we can’t always control the amount of stress in your life, the dentists at Family Smiles Dental are fully able and prepared to protect your dental health if your stress is impacting your smile. Call today to schedule your appointment in Dallas.
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