Stress Can Affect Oral Health

Saturday, April 12th, 2014, 6:36 pm

Did you know that stress can affect your smile? Too much stress can affect your whole body and it impacts your oral health by causing mouth sores, teeth grinding, and even gum disease.

Canker Sores and Cold Sores

Mouth sores like canker sores and cold sores commonly pop up during stressful times. Canker sores are not contagious and researchers still haven’t entirely figured out what causes them. They are annoying and painful but they normally heal on their own in a week or 10 days. If you have a canker sore that is very painful or large call your dentist to find out about over-the-counter products that can numb the area.

Cold sores are actually caused by a virus and are contagious. Medications are available, both over-the-counter and prescription antiviral drugs, that can reduce healing time and perhaps prevent future breakouts.

Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

Stress isn’t the only reason that people grind their teeth — in fact most people that grind their teeth don’t even know they are doing it. Bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching) can cause damage to the teeth, wearing them down or causing cracks and breaks. Grinding also leads to painful problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). TMJ pain can manifest in many ways including headaches, facial pain, jaw pain, neck and back pain and muscle spasms.

Your dentist can’t make you stop grinding but further damage to the teeth and the jaw joint can be prevented by wearing a specially made orthotic device. This small bite splint will place your bite in a position that removes stress from the joint and muscles, allowing them to heal.

Stress can also lead to poor dietary choices and an increase in dental plaque. The best way to protect yourself from gum disease is remember to eat a balanced diet and brush and floss everyday.

Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 to discover how we can help you protect your beautiful smile during stressful times.



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Category: oral health, TMJ

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