Stress and oral health

Headaches, stomachaches, and anxiety are just a few of the physical and emotional symptoms you may experience during stressful times. But, did you know that stress could also affect your mouth? Here are a few ways stress affects your oral health.

  • Jaw issues or disorders of the jaw joint or chewing muscles are usually brought on by clenching your jaw regularly or for extended periods. Jaw issues can lead to pain around the ear or face.
  • Teeth grinding or bruxism often occurs when sleeping or concentrating and goes unnoticed until we start to experience jaw pain or a headache. Other effects of bruxism include flattened, sensitive, or chipped teeth and damaged dental work.
  • Oral sores, such as ulcers, can be brought on by stress and can lead to oral infections.
  • Cold sores, which are caused by the herpes simplex virus HSV-1, are often triggered by stress.
  • Decreased immune response, which can lead to periodontal (gum) disease

While eliminating stress entirely isn’t possible, there are steps you can take to alleviate any oral issues you may be experiencing.

  1. Talk to your dentist. There are many treatment options available and together you can work to develop a plan that works for your situation and issues.
  2. Consider a custom-fitted nightguard to address teeth grinding issues. Your dentist can get you fitted for one that is comfortable and that you can use while sleeping.
  3. Be kind to yourself. Take pain medication when needed but don’t cope with tobacco and alcohol which could make things worse.

Stress and dental pain should not be a way of life. Give Jackson Dental a call today at 573-243-5200 to learn more about available treatment options.