As patients of our Sandy family dentistry know, stress can cause serious damage to the health of your teeth and gums. In fact, in a recent interview, actress Demi Moore admitted to losing two teeth due to the impact of stress on her life and oral health. While stress and tooth loss may seem like an unlikely combination, it’s far more a reality than what many patients may expect.
The biggest threat to your oral health and primary cause of permanent tooth loss is gum disease. While the disease is often caused by a combination of poor brushing and dietary habits, stress can also contribute to gum disease. Here are a few other ways that stress can negatively impact your oral health.
If you begin to notice that your teeth have started to become more translucent or getting shorter, you may be experiencing the symptoms of bruxism, or teeth grinding. Teeth grinding is often an unconscious habit for many people that experience a lot of stress during their daily lives. The condition can have serious consequences for your oral health, and you need to see Dr. Conklin as you might need a bite guard to protect the health of your teeth from any additional wear.
If you feel a click or ache in the joint of your jaw, you may be experiencing a sign of stress that has manifest itself as TMJ. Dr. Conklin can provide advice on how to deal with the problem and you may need a treatment for the jaw, such as a special splint or even Botox treatment to relieve the symptoms caused by stress related TMJ.
If your gums bleed easily after brushing, floss, or eating you may be noticing the symptoms of gum disease. High stress levels can cause an influx of stress hormones that can make conditions like gum disease worse. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Conklin as you may need to receive gum treatment such as a root planning under the gums.
An oral abscess can be caused during times of stress due to an inability of your body to fight off infection. Stress works to weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to prevent injections. If you develop an oral abscess you may need to take antibiotics to treat this extremely painful condition.
Root Canal Problems
Root canal problems can be caused by stress if the grinding becomes so severe that the nerves of a tooth become exposed. Dr. Conklin may need to conduct a root canal procedure to remove the nerve of a tooth in order to save the structure of the tooth as a whole.
Chronic Bad Breath
Bad breath also ranks as another sign of stress. Stomach acids can build up during times of stress and lead to acid reflux, a condition that causes stomach acid and bacteria to travel up the esophagus and into the mouth. These substances from the stomach contain compounds that cause bad breath. Taking antacids and other types of medication can help to reduce acid reflux and help to eliminate bad breath.
Frequently biting the cheek is another sign we see in patients suffering from high levels of stress at our Sandy family dentistry. For some patients, this is a habit they use to help cope with stress. Methods used to curb this habit includes learning stress management techniques such as exercise and meditation.