Doctors have been telling us for years that stress can increase the risk of everything from high blood pressure to depression. But how often do we think about how stress impacts our dental health in Oceanside? Here are some dental problems linked to stress.
Canker and Cold Sores
Cold sores are a symptom of the herpes simplex virus. Scientists don’t know exactly what causes canker sores but they suspect they are related to infection, virus, or a weak immune system. If you are prone to mouth sores, you probably already know that stress seems to bring them on or prolong healing times. If you get these sores often, communicate with your doctor or dentist. Your healthcare provider can guide you on medications, diet, and stress reduction procedures.
It’s no surprise that teeth grinding is harmful to dental health in Oceanside. It starts with enamel wear, then loose teeth, and eventually tooth loss. During this progression, there may be other issues such as gum recession, headaches, and TMD. If you grind your teeth, it’s important to address this condition as soon as possible. Your dentist may prescribe an appliance to protect your teeth and keep your jaw in the proper position while you are sleeping. Other treatments include cognitive behavior therapy, relaxation therapies, mandibular advancement devices, physical therapy, and medication. Your dentist can create a treatment plan and work with you and your doctor to manage or eliminate this condition.
There are many direct and indirect causes of TMD. For example, inability to manage stress may cause jaw clenching which, in turn, causes pain in the jaw joint. Other symptoms of TMD include tenderness, pain, swelling in the neck, ear, face, or shoulder, popping or clicking sounds, and changes in bite alignment. Again, if you experience any of these, meet with your dentist.
Diet and Gum Disease
It’s not uncommon for men and women people to consume more sugar, snack more often between meals, or drink more alcoholic beverages when experiencing increased stress. All this at a time when vigilant oral hygiene is commonly not a person’s first priority! Stress can also reduce your ability to fight plaque build-up which can lead to gingivitis. Tooth pain and untreated dental problems will only give you something else to worry about. Let’s nip this vicious cycle in the bud. Make an appointment with your dentist to protect your dental health in Oceanside.