When Stress Affects Your Mouth

You may not even be aware of it — but stress can actually affect your mouth!  If you find yourself overwhelmed at your job or life got you frazzled, it may be worth reevaluting so stress doesn’t also bring down your smile!  There’s more and more evidence linking stress with gum disease, bruxism and even mouth sores.  Your dentist is able to aid in detecting these oral stress symptoms, but we’re here to help you even before your 6 month routine visit!

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Do You Suffer from Headaches or Sore Teeth and Jaw?

These symptoms could be the result of nighttime teeth grinding, i.e. bruxism.  Obviously when you are unaware of the behavior, you can’t consciously stop it.  Experts say that during nighttime bruxism, the upper and lower teeth come into contact up to 40 minutes per hour and with a force of up to 250 lbs on particular teeth, thus the soreness.  Bruxism is more common with those experiencing high stress, so definitely consult your dentist and give sleeping with a mouthguard a go if this becomes an issue for you.  See also: Are You Grinding Your Teeth?


Do you Experience Mouth Sores?

Canker sores generally occur inside the mouth and are not contagious. Unfortunately, it is not known for sure what causes canker sores.  Some people think that it may be caused from getting bumped in the mouth or they may also be triggered by stress.  They’re also more likely to stick around longer once you get them if you’re steady stressin’ too.  See also: Canker Sore vs Cold Sore

 

Do Your Gums Bleed Easily?

If you haven’t flossed in a while or at all and your oral hygiene isn’t the best, bleeding gums could be a sign of gingivitis which is the start of periodontal disease.  Perio disease affects your gums and the bone support of your teeth which could end up in tooth loss.  “More research is needed to determine the definitive relationship between stress and periodontal diseases,” says researcher Daiane Peruzzo, PhD, of the State University of Campinas, Piracicaba in Brazil, in the news release. “However, patients who minimize stress may be at less risk for periodontal diseases.”1  See also: Why Do My Gums Bleed?

 

Written by staff at Szmanda Dental Center and sources: 1WebMD