Most of us encounter stressful periods at some point in our lives. We are all aware that stress can have negative effects on our emotional health, but stress can also have significant negative effects on our oral health.
We know that stress can be a major contributing factor to the following conditions:
Bruxism is the grinding and clenching of your teeth that often occurs while you sleep. Daily stresses can bring on the pattern of Bruxism and can cause your teeth to become worn, cracked, and loose.
Long-term stress can cause the immune system to weaken. This increases the risk of having the gums infected by plaque and developing Periodontal Disease, also known as gum disease.
Although these shallow lesions have an unknown cause, research suggests several factors including the likelihood of being stress induced. Canker sores are generally harmless, but they can be quite painful.
Stress contributes to temporomandibular joint disorders, known as TMJ or TMD. Stress and Bruxism are common causes of TMJ disorder. The trauma from grinding the teeth as well as anxiety and depression are common triggers.
Xerostomia, more commonly known as Dry Mouth, occurs when the mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva. Dry Mouth can result from conditions caused by stress or the medications used to treat anxiety and depression.
Burning Mouth Syndrome
Burning Mouth Syndrome by definition is a burning sensation on the tongue, lips gums or palate. Though the direct cause is unknown, stress is one of the triggers for burning mouth syndrome.
Lichen Planus of the mouth produces white, lacy patches or lines in the mouth. It is believed to be a reaction to viral infections triggered from stress.
All of these symptoms show the indirect ways stress can influence your oral health. Stay vigilant on your daily oral hygiene routine during periods of high stress. If you are concerned that stress is affecting your teeth and gums, contact Palm Harbor Premier Dental at (727) 349-3615.