Most people realize that acute or chronic stress can have adverse effects on their overall health. Gastric problems, headaches or migraines, susceptibility to illness, fatigue are common physical manifestations of emotional and mental stressors. Just as common, but not as well-known, are a set of oral health problems that appear when the body is dealing with high levels of stress.
Your mouth and teeth are particularly susceptible to stress. Unconscious or conscious grinding of teeth (bruxism) and clenching your jaw can wear down enamel and cause tension headaches. Sores along the lips and inside the mouth may appear. They are usually called cold sores or canker sores and may occur because of a latent virus in your body that becomes stronger as your immune system becomes weaker.
One other common side effect of stress is a reduction in spare time and decreased attention to personal hygiene. If you are rushed in the morning before going to work and worried about what the day holds, you are less likely to spend the proper amount of time and use the correct technique when brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash. As such, existing oral problems will get worse without care and attention.
Lastly, we all know that when we are stressed we don’t eat as well. We are in a rush and like to grab things on the go or prefer to comfort ourselves with good feeling junk food. Starchy and sugary foods
are very hard on your teeth and gums. They should be avoided and enjoyed in moderation.
These are just a few reasons why it is important to regularly visit your dentist. Littleton Colorado residents can discuss the impact stress has on their mouths by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Guy Grabiak.