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How Stress Can Impact Your Oral Health

How Stress Can Impact Your Oral Health

Stress is very common in today’s busy world. Life can be stressful and unexpected and, whether you’re prone to anxiety or your current situation is causing you to be stressed, this can have a negative impact on your dental and overall health.

If we are unable to adequately control our stress levels, we will begin to notice the toll it takes on our bodies. While we’re able to withstand short and temporary bursts of stress, continually elevated stress levels over a long period of time will eventually become incredibly detrimental to our physical, emotional, and dental health.

Dental Problems Caused Or Made Worse By Stress

Below are a few of the ways that your stress may manifest itself through your dental health:

  • Bruxism – If you’re experiencing stress, you may begin to suffer from bruxism, which is the nighttime grinding and clenching of teeth. This condition puts a lot of stress on the jaws and teeth, causing pain, headaches, and even the cracking and chipping of the teeth.
  • Cold Sores – If you’re already prone to cold sores, stress can cause an outbreak. This is because stress weakens the immune system, allowing the virus that causes cold sores to sneak through. Cold sores are uncomfortable but should go away on their own within a week or two. 
  • Canker Sores – Much like cold sores, stress can increase the risk that you’ll develop canker sores. There are special medications or rinses that can help ease the pain of canker sores while they heal.
  • Gum Disease – Stress can decrease the body’s ability to fight off harmful bacteria in the mouth. If these bacteria are allowed to accumulate, you may develop gum disease or even periodontitis.
  • Neglect of Oral Hygiene – Finding yourself in an overly stressful situation can stir up our routines. This may cause you to neglect your regular oral hygiene routine, making your teeth more vulnerable to tooth decay, dental cavities, and other problems.  

If you’re concerned about how your stress could be contributing to your periodontics health, please contact Littleton Implants & Periodontics. Our dental implant and gum specialist is located here in Littleton, Colorado.

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