Physical and mental health are related in ways we may not expect. However, there are many ways we can protect our smiles from the adverse effects of stress.
Teeth-Grinding and Stress
Habitual teeth-grinding and jaw-clenching are called bruxism. Grinding and clenching are natural responses to stress and frustration for several individuals. The common signs of bruxism include a sore jaw that leads to a flattened chewing surface of the teeth. Those who have this habit might not even notice they're doing it - particularly those who grind their teeth primarily in their sleep.
Stress and Symptoms of TMD
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), another oral health condition stress can contribute to. TMD is a disorder of the joints, muscles, and nerves in the jaw associated with chronic facial pain. One of the factors leading to TMD is believed to be stress. TMD has symptoms such as frequent headaches, popping and clicking of the jaw, and pain in the jaw joint.
Stress Leads to a Weakened Immune System
The body can deal pretty well with a brief period of stress, but chronic stress significantly strains the immune system, making it harder to fight off oral health issues like infections, canker sores, dry mouth, gum disease, etc., cavities.
Make Oral Health a Priority
Good oral hygiene habits become particularly important considering all the adverse effects of stress. That includes brushing for at least two minutes twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, flossing a minimum of once a day, and reducing the sugar intake.
"Win-Ya" Dentist Is Your Best Ally
Dental health experts like our team at Winyah Dental Group want to help our patients stress less about their oral health. We know that just the idea of going to the dentist can be stressful for a lot of people, but we're here to help. We encourage you to keep up with your regular dental checkups and keep a prevention mindset regarding oral health issues rather than waiting until a problem gets much worse to get treatment finally.
We want to help our patients "Smile Like You Mean It"
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.