Illustration of a brunette woman with her head in her hands surrounded by scribbles to represent stress

How Stress Affects Your Oral Health

May 19, 2023 8:00 am

Did you know that stress doesn’t just have a negative impact on your mental health? It can also impact your oral health.

Teeth Grinding & Clenching

It’s not uncommon for people battling stress and anxiety to grind and clench their teeth at night. Without a nightguard, bruxism can prematurely wear down your teeth and contribute to jaw pain. You can experience broken and cracked teeth, tooth sensitivity, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and headaches.

Increased Risk of Gum Disease

Stress weakens the immune system and makes you more susceptible to illness and infection, including gum disease. Gum disease occurs when bacteria accumulates under the gumline, causing inflammation and infection.

If you notice any of the following warning signs of gum disease, please contact us to schedule an appointment!

  • Altered bite
  • Bleeding gums
  • Tender & swollen gums
  • Gum recession
  • Halitosis
  • Pain when eating

Poor Oral Hygiene

Stress can lead to decreased motivation when it comes to caring for your smile. You may be tempted to skip parts of your oral hygiene routine or to brush and floss without much care and attention. Poor oral hygiene can result in tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and tooth discoloration.

Canker Sores

Stress can cause small ulcers, known as canker sores, to develop on the inside of your cheeks. They are painful and feel distracting when trying to concentrate, and can make it difficult to speak and eat with ease.

Improving Your Health

It’s crucial to find ways to manage your stress, like exercising, speaking to a therapist, meditation, or using breathing techniques. Healthy stress management will improve your quality of life and your overall wellness.

Are you currently experiencing oral health issues as a result of stress? Contact Alma Dental Care today to consult with our friendly dentist in Petaluma, CA. We can come up with a personalized treatment plan to improve your dental health.

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