How Stress Affects Your Teeth

Stress can cause oral health problems affecting your teeth, gums, and mouth. Excess stress can cause sores in your mouth, periodontal disease, and can cause you to clench and grind your teeth. In addition, when you are stressed, you may have poor dental hygiene and eating habits, or problems with your immune system. All these may lead to major dental problems. Stress can increase canker sores Canker sores are small ulcers appearing inside the mouth usually in pairs or larger numbers. Canker sores can be caused by bacteria or viruses. Stress and fatigue increase your risk of getting these sores. These sores are not contagious, and will disappear by themselves in a week or so. To reduce the pain they cause, use over the counter anesthetics and avoid eating hot spicy foods or foods with high acidic content. Canker sores heal easily by themselves in about a week. Cold sores are also known as fever blisters. Cold sores are caused by a virus and are contagious. These blisters are filled with fluid and often appear around the mouth, lips and chin, including under the nose. Cold sores may be brought on by a fever, sunburn or any other skin abrasion. Emotional stress can start an outbreak too. Treatment is available, and you should start it immediately when a cold sore appears. Teeth grinding and clenching often occurs unconsciously, any time, day or night. Stress can cause you to grind your teeth. Prolonged grinding causes the protective enamel of your teeth to wear off, exposing the inner dentine, which leads to sensitive teeth. Exposure to cold or hot foods and drinks causes you to experience a sharp sudden pain with teeth sensitivity. Most dentists recommend wearing a guard when you are sleeping to help protect your teeth from the grinding effect. Stress causes a change of oral hygiene routine When stressed out, you may end up skipping your daily oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing. This neglect of oral hygiene can cause several problems. For example, this accumulation of bacteria may cause gum disease, or exasperate the problem if it already exists. You also face the increased risk of developing teeth cavities and bad breath. Build up of food particles and bacteria cause plaque, which can lead to sensitive teeth over time. A stressed person may develop unhealthy eating habits such as snacking on sugary foods and drinks instead of eating healthy foods. When you deal with stress by eating large amounts of chocolate and candy, your teeth pay the price. You face a high risk of developing tooth decay and other oral health problems. Dr. Peter Hazim can suggest effective ways to deal with dental problems as a result of stress. Please call us at (972) 727-5599. We are conveniently located at 105 N. Alma Drive, Suite 100 in Allen, Texas.

Dr. Hazim is a member of the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. A graduate of Loyola University, Dr. Hazim has undergone continuing education at the Pankey Institute and has received accreditation from the Western Regional Examining Board.

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