How Stress Can Impact Your Oral Health
Stress is, unfortunately, a part of many of our lives. If you experience a lot of stress in your life, you may know about the ways it can affect your overall health. Stress can take a toll on our bodies in so many ways. But did you know that stress can impact your oral health as well? Stress makes us clench our muscles all through our bodies, gives us issues with digestion, and can be the root cause to why you are experiencing dental pain. With the COVID-19 pandemic, people are understandably stressed even more so than usual. With so much uncertainty, it is sure to take a toll on our health. Keep reading to learn how stress can impact your oral health, and how you can help prevent it.
When some people are feeling overwhelmed, they light up a cigarette. Along with the many negative consequences that smokers risk, damage to your oral health is among those consequences. If you are smoking as a result of stress in your life, it can impact your oral health.
Smoking can cause:
- oral cancer
- slower healing in the mouth
- increased levels of bad bacteria in the mouth: which causes bad breath and infection
- yellowed teeth
Quitting smoking is a challenge, but the rewards far outweigh the difficulty of cessation. If you are a smoker and have concerns about whether it is impacting your oral health, schedule a free consultation today and let us help you get the answers you need to make an informed decision about your health.
Clenching or Grinding Your Jaw
Clenching or grinding of the jaw particularly affects those who have a significant amount of stress and anxiety. This bad habit can be completely unconscious. A lot of people clench and grind their teeth while they’re sleeping, completely unbeknownst to them. Many times, people don’t realize it is happening until we examine their mouth and realize the impact it has had on their teeth. Stress can impact your oral health if you are grinding your teeth as a result of the stresses in your life.
The consequences of clenching and grinding include:
- damage to your TMJ (temporomandibular Joint) resulting in TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction)
- receding gum line due to the pressure
- a cracked tooth (that may need a root canal)
- jaw soreness
If you are experiencing jaw pain and have concerns about whether you may be grinding your teeth at night, visit our office to find out how to solve your clenching/ grinding issue. We offer night guards that can help alleviate your grinding issues and would be happy to help you get the relief you need.
Biting Your Nails
Another way stress can impact your oral health is if you are biting your nails. Nail biting is a nervous tick that can develop into a bad habit especially in younger children. Not only does this habit increase your risk of getting an infection on your fingers, but it can ruin your teeth.
Nail biting negatively impacts your dental health by:
- causing your teeth to shift out of alignment
- constantly putting bacteria into your mouth
- cause TMD
Sometimes this habit can be hard to break, especially if you have been doing it for years. Some patients have had success using bitter tasting nail polish to help them break the habit.
Learn More About How Stress Can Impact Your Oral Health
If you have any questions about how stress can impact your oral health, or think you may be suffering from any of these nervous habits, please call our Buffalo dentists today to arrange a free consultation. With over 40 years of experience serving the West Seneca, and greater Buffalo region, we would love to put a smile on your face.
If you are experiencing a dental emergency, we are still able to treat patients during COVID-19. Contact us today and let our experience work for you.
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