The Link Between Stress and Oral Health

The Link Between Stress and Oral Health

Stress is unavoidable. Stress can happen at any time or place, and its effects on the body are far-reaching. Stress can affect the mind, the body, and the mouth. Stress can negatively impact one's oral health.

Stress and Oral Health

Patients often don't associate oral health with stress, but they do play an important role. When a patient is stressed, they may start grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw because the muscles are tense and are involuntarily working overtime. This constant tension and muscle activity can eventually wear down teeth and lead to more serious issues like TMJ disorder.

Patients who grind their teeth at night are often unaware that they even have a problem until the dentist informs them. Once patients realize they are grinding their teeth, they can discuss options with their dentist, like buying a custom mouth guard so their teeth are protected while they sleep. Teeth grinding can lead to other oral problems when left untreated.

Some patients have the habit of chewing on pencils or even on their fingers when they are under a lot of stress. Unfortunately, this habit puts a lot of pressure on the teeth and can lead to tooth fractures over time or even the loss of a tooth entirely. Sometimes patients who chew on their fingernails do not realize they are doing it until a dentist sees them during an exam. Dentists can offer advice to these patients that can help them stop this adverse behavior and prevent further damage to their teeth.

Patients who grind their teeth or bite their nails when the nerves become hyper-sensitized can also experience headaches and pain in their jaw and neck areas. These symptoms should be discussed with a dentist to determine the best course of action for treatment.

Managing Stress with Your Teeth

Did you know that stress can have an impact on your oral health? Studies have shown that individuals who are under chronic stress are more likely to develop oral health complications, such as an increased risk of gum disease. This is because stress has a significant impact on the immune system, which is responsible for fighting off bacteria in the mouth and preventing infection.

Additionally, stress can cause teeth grinding at night, which can increase the risk of chipping or cracking teeth. Grinding the teeth can also wear down the tooth enamel over time. You can protect your smile by wearing a mouth guard when you sleep. A nightguard will protect your teeth from the effects of grinding, such as jaw pain and damage to tooth enamel.

Finally, stress can also cause individuals to neglect their oral hygiene routine. When people are feeling stressed, they may forget to make brushing and flossing a priority. However, this only makes the situation worse because plaque that is not removed can lead to swollen gums, bleeding, and bad breath. Take steps to reduce the stress in your life so that you can improve your oral health. Consider practicing yoga or meditation to help reduce stress. Schedule regular visits to your dentist every six months for preventive care as well.

To learn more about good oral care, you can schedule your appointment with our dentist by calling us at (512) 358-1215 or visiting our dental office. We will be happy to guide you further.


481 Sundance Parkway, Bldg 2, Ste 250, Round Rock, TX 78681

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Phone: (512) 358-1215