Have you ever wondered, ‘Can stress and anxiety affect your teeth?’ or suspected that your state of mind is causing problems with your oral health?
These are the topics we’re going to explore in our latest blog, looking at how your emotional wellbeing can affect your teeth and gums.
We’ll discover some conditions associated with stress and explain what you should do if you are experiencing them.
Can stress affect your teeth and gums?
We all experience stress as part of our daily lives, although the extent to which it affects us varies from person to person.
While stress can show up as problems with the digestive system in some people, for others it can manifest in issues with the teeth, mouth and jaw.
Let’s find out some of the most common ways that stress affects your teeth and related areas.
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is something many people do in their sleep without even realising it.
It may only come to light when you go to the dentist for a check-up. Your dentist may notice that your teeth are worn down in certain places or that you have cracks or broken teeth that require treatments like crowns.
Jaw and neck pain can sometimes be attributed to teeth grinding, too.
Your dentist may recommend wearing a mouthguard at night to protect your teeth. This will be customised to fit your mouth exactly and will be comfortable enough not to interfere with your sleep.
Temporomandibular joint disorder
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder refers to pain or discomfort around the joints that connect the jawbone to the skull. This discomfort can also radiate to other areas around the head and neck.
If you have a tendency to clench your teeth when stressed, then you could be affected by this uncomfortable condition.
Again, your dentist can advise you on what treatment is possible, such as wearing a mouthguard, and may also signpost you to other services to help you relax and let go of bad habits like teeth clenching.
Stress can even affect the health of your gums. When you’re stressed, your immune system is weakened, which means that it doesn’t fight off the bacteria in your mouth as efficiently as usual. This can result in gum disease.
In the early stages, gum disease is known as gingivitis and can usually be reversed. Unfortunately, when it reaches a more advanced stage called periodontitis, it can only be managed and you risk losing one or more of your teeth.
Always consult your dentist if you experience bleeding or sore gums or are worried about your gum health in any way.
Come and see your dentist in Te Atatu
Can stress affect your teeth? Unfortunately, the answer is yes for some people.
If you think that your emotional wellbeing is impacting on your oral health, then be sure to make an appointment with your dentist.
They will be able to take a look and identify any issues like grinding, TMJ disorder, or gum disease that can impact on your oral health.
So, make an appointment with us here at Opal Dental if you have any concerns about your teeth or gums. Think of us as your local dentist for the Te Atatu Peninsula, on hand to offer help and advice for the whole family!