When we’re stressed, we may experience a headache, a stomachache, or the sense of irritability. But too much stress can cause a multitude of problems in our bodies and in our mouths. At Chapel Hill Advanced Dentistry, we want to help our patients understand how daily stressors might be affecting their oral health.
While we’re all pretty familiar with the health dangers stress can cause put on the body, the effects of stress on the mouth are often not discussed. However, stress and anxiety can cause several serious problems in your mouth including:
• Canker sores
• Teeth grinding
• Periodontal disease
Stress can increase the risk of getting canker sores, and while they aren’t really dangerous, they can be painful. Canker sores often look like small ulcers with a white or gray base and a red border, and can be found inside the mouth and even in multiples.
Additionally, stress can cause us to clench and grind our teeth, also known as bruxism. The act of grinding your teeth, often subconsciously, can lead to tooth damage and can even result in TMJ (jaw joint) problems.
Research has shown that stress directly affects your immune system. This is especially concerning for your Chapel Hill dentist. When your immune system is compromised, your chance of periodontal disease increases. Additionally, some medication used to battle stress and anxiety can lead to dry mouth. Dry mouth can cause tooth decay and can also increase your risk of gum disease.
Stress and anxiety happens to all of us. What’s important is that you realize how to cope and relieve stress and that you understand how stress can affect your body. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms we’ve discussed, we encourage you to give Chapel Hill Advanced Dentistry a call today. Together, we’ll talk about your concerns and discuss the best way to get you healthy.