Stress is an unavoidable part of everyday life, whether it’s from school or work. Everyone knows the effects of stress on health, including sleeping problems, migraines, stomach problems and, perhaps worst of all, depression. Most people, however, aren’t aware of the negative effects of stress on teeth, leading to dental problems that need attention from a Greenville, SC dentist.
Why Stress is Bad for your Teeth
Stress triggers a fight-or-flight response in the body, releasing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol that can have an effect on a person’s behavior. High levels of these hormones can reduce saliva production, leaving your mouth at risk of acquiring oral infection as the immune system also goes down. Once you experience stress, you might begin to pay less attention to your oral hygiene, finding comfort in chewing down more on sugary foods, thus putting you at greater risk of acquiring tooth decay and gum disease.
Visible Effects of Stress on Teeth
One visible oral problem related to stress is the appearance of canker sores. Canker sores take the form of small grey- or white-colored ulcers in your mouth, which even dentists and doctors don’t fully understand other than being caused by stress. Aside from this, a person tends to clench and grind his teeth more when stressed (and, in some cases, even as a person sleeps), which gradually wears down the molars and eventually cracks or fractures teeth.
Grinding and clenching your teeth can also lead to a more serious condition known as temporomandibular joint syndrome, or TMJ. People suffering from TMJ often experience pain in their jaws, face and even by the ears. Some symptoms of TMJ include hearing or feeling a click, a crack, or a pop while you yawn or laugh, inability to widely open your mouth, and experiencing tension or tenderness around your cheek muscles in the morning.
Preventing Stress-Related Dental Problems
If you’re experiencing any of these dental problems and believe that these had been caused by stress, you have to seek immediate help from Greenville, SC family dental health services, which is offered by centers such as Downtown Dental. They offer a variety of treatments for stress-related dental problems from a fractured or chipped tooth to TMJ. It also helps to maintain good oral hygiene by regularly brushing your teeth and avoiding sugary foods. Though stress might be a part of everyday life, it doesn’t have to affect your smile as well, so seek immediate professional help for your dental woes.
(Source: Stress and its Effects on Teeth, Dentistry.net)