Most of us know what it takes to keep our teeth healthy, but many don’t realize the effects stress can have on our teeth and bodies. We are seeing more and more signs of stress showing up in the dentist’s office.. During routine dental examinations and cleanings, dentists are able to detect oral symptoms of stress, including orofacial pain, bruxism, temporomandibular disorders (TMD), mouth sores and gum disease.
During the day and even while sleeping, people under stress may clench their teeth or grind them back and forth against one another. This action, called bruxism, can not only wear down and damage your teeth but may also cause temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ), leading to severe jaw and neck pain.
Canker sores — small ulcers with a white or grayish base and bordered in red — appear inside the mouth, sometimes in pairs or even greater numbers. Experts aren’t sure what causes them. It could be immune system problems, bacteria, or viruses. But they do think that stress, as well as fatigue and allergies, can increase the chance of getting them. Canker sores are not contagious.
Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are caused by the herpes simplex virus and are contagious. Cold sores are fluid-filled blisters that often appear on or around the lips, but can also crop up under the nose or around the chin.
Emotional upset can trigger an outbreak. So can a fever, a sunburn, or skin abrasion.
Stress can make periodontal disease worse and harder to treat. Stress weakens your body’s immune system. This makes it harder for your body to fight off infection, including periodontal disease.
Our suggestion, of course, get rid of stress! But if that’s not possible, give us a call at Lima Dental Associates and we will help you protect your teeth, gums and TMJ while you are getting through your rough time!
Keep smiling, sharing, and caring!