Stress has a direct impact on the entire body but, for many, the link between stress and oral health is less clear. The impact of stress on dental health is not evident at first, and requires dental experts to catch potential problems early and treat them in time. If you haven’t visited a dentist lately, book an appointment with the experts at King Street Dental today.
Effects of Stress on Dental Health
Here are just some of the ways in which elevated stress levels can impact your teeth and gums:
Dry Mouth Syndrome
Dry mouth syndrome is a clear sign that you are experiencing elevated levels of stress. Saliva plays an important role in regulating oral bacteria levels by preventing germ build up in various parts of the mouth. Staying hydrated is an integral part of dental health, especially when you are going through a stressful time.
Grinding of Teeth
Stress can cause a person to clench their jaw and grind their teeth excessively. Many people experience pain in their jaw and neck from grinding their teeth at night. We recommend addressing the root cause of the stress to find a permanent solution, but while you do that, a custom fitted mouthguard can help reduce pressure on your teeth at night. Tooth grinding is also known as Bruxism, and it can go undetected for long periods of time and is best identified by a dentist. Left unaddressed, Bruxism can lead to cracked teeth and other painful jawline issues.
Stress can increase a person’s chances of developing periodontal disease, especially if there are pre-existing signs of this condition.
Stress Related Tooth Decay
Bacteria thrive on bits of food that become trapped in hard-to-reach places between teeth. Excessive stress can easily lead to bacterial build-up which can speed up the process of tooth decay if left unchecked. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria feed on organic matter, releasing acids which cause damage. Regular flossing, brushing and hydration for saliva production can all help reduce the chances of tooth decay.
When stress changes a person’s bite, it can lead to accidental injuries in the mouth which flare up due to bad bacteria, leading to infection. Mouth sores that do not heal for two weeks should be examined by a dentist so that appropriate medication can be prescribed.
General and Cosmetic Dentistry in Melbourne
At King Street Dental, we recognise that the many stresses in life can weigh you down. While the best way to manage stress is to identify the root cause, we believe in providing you with the help you need to keep its effects to a minimum. Stress affects dental health in significant ways, and poor dental health often exacerbates other serious conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Call us to find out more about treating stress related oral conditions, or book an appointment with us today!