The Dangers Of Stress To Your Oral Health
From dealing with the responsibilities of work and home life to struggling financially, physically, or emotionally, it is easy to see how stress is a common part of most people's lives. While shocking to learn, an estimated 48 percent of people say stress has made a negative impact on their personal and professional lives. If you are dealing with stress, you probably understand how it affects your body and mind. However, you may not realize how it is affecting your oral health. This guide will teach you how dangerous stress can be on your mouth, teeth, and gums.
Weakened Immune System
Over time, stress can wreak havoc on your body, causing inflammation and decreasing the function of your immune system. Without a healthy and strong immune system, your body will not be able to fight off illness or infections.
Individuals with a weak immune system have a higher risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, and more involved infections of the mouth, teeth, and gums.
Risk of TMJ
Characterized by a clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth, TMJ disorder can wear quickly wear down tooth enamel. In addition, this disorder has been known to cause serious jaw pain that prevents you from eating, chewing, and speaking properly.
For many people, TMJ stems from an orthodontic issue, such as a misaligned bite. In others, stress is the main cause of the clenching and grinding associated with this disorder of the temporomandibular joint.
Another common issue caused by stress that can affect your oral health is the development of canker sores. Although the main cause is not known, canker sores have been linked to the biting and chewing of the inside of the mouth that occurs when someone is stressed.
These sores may be small and shallow, but they can cause enormous discomfort. Most people with these sores are unable to eat or speak properly due to the pain.
If you have any sores in your mouth, it is important to consult your dentist about treatment to avoid infections and further discomfort.
If you are currently taking medications, such as anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications for your stress disorders, you may experience dry mouth.
Dry mouth occurs when the mouth's production of saliva decreases dramatically. Saliva is necessary for ridding the mouth of food particles, plaque, and bacteria. Without enough saliva, your mouth will be more susceptible to bacteria, decay, and gum disease.
Stress is a part of life, but it does not have to wreak havoc on your smile. By managing your stress, brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly, you can protect your mouth from these common dangers. For more information, contact a dental office like Naas Family Dentistry.