Stress, while not much fun, is pretty much a part of life for everyone. It can come about for a myriad of reasons, work, relationships, money problems, worrying about things you probably don’t need to worry about, even depression and sadness can be substantial stressors that can contribute to high levels of anxiety. When you are under a lot of stress, things can fall by the wayside including your dental health. It’s more critical than ever to maintain good dental hygiene in order to counterbalance the potential damage caused by stress.
Routine brushing and flossing, rinsing, drinking a sufficient amount of water each day, and eating healthy are all of the ways to keep your mouth happy even if you are struggling with a lot of stress in your life. This is all very important because you can develop serious stress related dental issues if you let your anxiety get too overwhelming.
It’s the number one dental issue caused almost exclusively by high stress levels. While it’s true that you typically do this while you sleep and you may not even know that it’s happening, your brain is still processing the influences that are stressing you out and it’s causing you to clench your jaw and grind your teeth back and forth as you snooze. This can fracture your teeth and knock your jaw out of alignment causing TMJ, which can be very painful. If you wake up with a headache instead of feeling well-rested and refreshed, you could be suffering from bruxism, the clinical term of teeth grinding.
You’ve no doubt experienced these before, painful ulcers that develop on the gums and the lining of your mouth. You know you have one when you eat or drink something and feel that sharp sting that feels like it’s radiating through your skull. Some canker sores can get so big and deep that it takes weeks for them to heal. Canker sores can crop up for a variety of reasons but stress is believed to be one of the most prevalent.
When we’re stressed we can let important routines of hygiene fall by the wayside. Maybe you don’t shower as often as you should or brush or floss your teeth every day. You might be too busy to remember or too depressed or sad to care. This can lead to gum diseases, if you allow bacteria to build up on your teeth and gums. The worse it gets, the more visible the signs of gum disease become as your gums can begin to bleed and your teeth can get loose. This is why it’s so critical to brush and floss even if you don’t feel like doing it or you’re too focused on other things.