Stress causes a lot of different reactions in the body. Your heart rate rises, and your breathing becomes rapid and shallow. Your muscles tighten. Your digestive system slows down. But, what you may not realize is that stress can also affect your oral health. Stress can exacerbate gum disease, cause dry mouth, and increase your risk of a dental infection.
Chronic stress can have a negative impact on the teeth and gums. It can cause teeth grinding, clenching, and even TMJ disorder. When stress and oral health problems are combined, it can lead to serious complications that require immediate dental care. Patients experiencing constant stress should seek treatment immediately to prevent more invasive procedures.
If you experience chronic stress and anxiety, it's critical that you seek help from a mental health professional or counselor to help you learn ways to cope with the stressors in your life. Your dentist can also provide recommendations for treatments that can improve your smile and protect your oral health.
Night guards are custom-fit plastic appliances that you wear over your teeth while you sleep. They protect your teeth from the damage caused by clenching and grinding and can even help correct issues such as snoring.
When you're stressed, your body responds by releasing stress-related hormones into the blood. These hormones can cause inflammation in the gums and teeth. In addition to causing gum inflammation, stress also leads to an increased chance of gum disease. If you're under stress, your chances of developing gingivitis or periodontitis increase by two to three times. This can create serious oral health complications such as tooth abscesses, receding gums, painful infections, and even tooth loss.
The best way to combat the effects of stress on your oral health is to practice relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga. Regular exercise can also help relax the body. Additionally, it's important to visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. If you start to feel any symptoms of gum disease, such as red, swollen, or bleeding gums, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. This will reduce the risk of permanent damage to your gums and prevent the development of further oral concerns.
Please reach out to our dental practice at 17952 SW Blanton St, Aloha, OR 97078, to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bronitsky. Call us at (503) 649-5665 or schedule an online consultation, and we'll guide you further.