Is Your Stress Level Damaging Your Teeth?
There are many aspects of daily life that can be stressful. As children, we can’t wait to become adults and enjoy the freedoms we believe come with adulthood, such as no bedtime and the ability to eat whatever we want and play endless video games. Then, we grow up, and realize the sad truth, that being an adult means having way more responsibilities than we could have imagined. Jobs, finances, medical issues, family matters, and more increase daily stress. High stress can not only damage your overall health but your oral health as well. When you visit us for a routine hygiene examination, we can often tell your stress level by what we see in your mouth. Here are some ways stress may be harming your teeth and mouth:
Teeth Grinding and Clenching
One of the most common signs of stress is wear caused by clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth. Unfortunately, this often happens during sleep, so many people are unaware they have this habit until notified by a dentist. Over time, clenching or grinding can lead to significant oral issues such as sensitive teeth, worn teeth, and cracked or broken teeth.
When your heart rate rises, your breathing rate usually increases, similar to when you are exercising. This can dry up the saliva in your mouth and lead to a condition called dry mouth. Over time, dry mouth can lead to decay and gum disease.
High stress can lead to sores in and around your mouth, such as cold sores and canker sores, which are not only uncomfortable, but they can also make it challenging to brush and floss properly.
If you have been feeling increased stress and have not visited us for a routine hygiene examination within the past six months, we would recommend calling our office located in Burton, MI to schedule an appointment. We can evaluate the state of your oral health and determine if there are any concerns. We want to help you continue to feel your best!