It is common knowledge by now that stress levels can impact your health and wellbeing, and this goes for your oral health as well. Stress can be directly physically responsible for negative effects on oral health, and also impact oral health as a side effect of certain treatments for stress.
Here are just a few ways that stress can have a negative impact on your mouth.
Gum Disease: Stress can reduce the effectiveness of your immune system and increase the possibility of developing infections like gum disease.
Canker Sores: These white spots that develop on the soft tissue inside your mouth aren’t harmful but can be painful and can be brought on by physical or emotional stress. They will usually go away on their own but you may also use a special rinse or cream.
Dry Mouth: Stress can itself cause dry mouth, but it can also be caused as a side effect of certain medicines a doctor may prescribe to treat stress and depression. Bacteria can thrive in a dry mouth without saliva and this can lead to tooth decay or infections like gum disease.
Bruxism: Stress can cause involuntary or voluntary bruxism (or tooth grinding) which can cause damage to teeth as well as jaw pain and headaches. You may not even be aware that you are doing it as grinding can often occur at night while you are asleep. A night guard may be recommended by your dentist to protect your teeth from damage.
If you think that stress may be impacting your oral health, you can call us at (647) 794-1108 to help.