If I say that my teeth are suffering because of stress, will you give me a serious look? Yes, you must. Because I am not joking. Stress indeed takes a toll on our teeth as it does on our body and mind.
One of the basic impacts of stress on teeth is an indirect one. Like for example, when we feel utterly stressed or depressed because of stress, we tend to eat a whole lot of sweets to re-energise our body and mind and that can leave an impact on your teeth in terms of causing cavities if you take less care of your oral hygiene.
But this is not all. Stress also releases high levels of hormones that reduce the production of saliva and also immunity. This, in turn, can lead to high risk of oral infection. Besides, stress can also put the treatment of your gum disease in a jeopardy.
The problem of Bruxism
Bruxism or grinding teeth or clenching jaws is something which can be closely related to stress and anxiety, besides sleep disorders. Nervous tension, frustration and anger can lead to bruxism among people and they would not even know what the precise reason is. Bruxism, if unattended, can see wearing down of your teeth's surface, rubbing off the teeth enamel or bite on the tongue. Bruxism can exert excessive force on tissues that support the teeth causing harm to the supporting bone.
Stress can cause canker sores
Canker sores are something very painful that make activities like eating and talking quite uncomfortable. The causes for these canker sores or ulcers are not known but stress could be one factor.
Pain in the jaws:
Stress can also make your jaw muscles pain and Bruxism also plays a role in this. A prolonged effect in the jaws can eventually lead to disorder in the jaw joints and it can cause difficulty in biting, chewing and even opening and closing the mouth.
How to reverse the situation?
So, how would you ensure that your oral health doesn't suffer too much because of stress? Here are some tips that can help you deal with it:
1. Learning to de-stress: Exercising, listening to music, swimming, harnessing social skills, etc. can help you relax yourself. If your body and mind are in a good condition, your oral health also becomes naturally sound.
2. Resting it properly: Once you have come to learn about Bruxism, you will be aware about placing the tongue, teeth and lips in a proper position so that they don't clash with each other while you are asleep.
3. Using oral night guard: By night guard, we mean a plastic mouth appliance which is put on the teeth arches to prevent the effect of Bruxism and protect the teeth and other oral parts during sleep.
4. Gradually retire into bed: Relax before going to sleep. Read a book or listen to soothing music before going to sleep. Don't eat anything before sleeping. This way, you can avoid problems like Bruxism and overall effect of stress on your oral health.
5. Visit dentists regularly: Pay regular visit to the dentist to ensure whether your oral health is showing stress-related symptoms. Six-monthly check-ups will help diagnose stress-related oral disorders.