Our day to day lives can be stressful. Everything from the bus journey to work to the monthly food shop – which can all have an impact on certain aspects of your life.

While stress affects people in different ways, believe it or not, stress can affect your oral hygiene. So, while stress can affect your teeth, mouth and in turn your general health, in what ways does it affect you and what can you do about it?

Woman holding head in stress

Translucent Teeth

Healthy teeth should be opaque, but while this is the ideal, you may notice the edges of your teeth become somewhat translucent, and even shortening. This is normally due to the grinding of teeth, otherwise known as Bruxism. Most of the time, people who grind their teeth aren’t fully aware they are doing it and some even do it in their sleep. Whether due to stress or not, the most successful way to deal with this is to invest in a mouth guard.

Aching Jaw

Around 30% of adults go through aching or a clicking jaw at some point in their adult lives. This is a common sign of stress and is commonly referred to as TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder) or Myofascial pain disorder. While some people develop this without any obvious cause, stress is a major reason for it starting. The only way to treat this is to get special jaw treatment which relaxes the muscles.

Bleeding Gums

When your brushing your teeth, have you ever seen a small amount of blood? You may not think this is a big deal, and it may be nothing but brushing too hard, but bleeding gums are in fact a symptom of gum disease which can be brought on by stress. Contact your dentist to make sure your brushing and flossing routine is right for you. You could need a gum treatment or a deep clean. Whatever you do, do not ignore constant bleeding gums.

Root Canal Problems

While root canals can come from other problems in your mouth, they can be caused by stress if you grind your teeth. If you grind your teeth too much, it could expose the nerves of the tooth. Root canal treatment may be needed to remove the nerve. This is a great reason to kick up your feet and relax!

Happy woman brushing her teeth

Abscesses

A dental abscess is essentially a collection of pus caused by an infection which can form inside the teeth, gums and even the bone around the mouth. Much of the time these can be brought on by stress, as your body’s defence mechanism which fights infection is compromised. While they might not cause long-term problems, it is always essential to visit your dentist or GP.

Bad Breath

1 in 4 people are affected by bad breath in the UK, and while it may just be the garlic bread you had for tea the previous night, it can get severe and affect people’s lives. Otherwise known as halitosis, in times of stress it can cause a build-up of stomach acid, potentially leading to acid reflux and other compounds. If you are concerned about bad breath, just know you are not the only one, and a trip to your dentist or GP will most likely reveal the reasons why and offer a solution.

Close up of a man's mouth and teeth

Simple things such as a short walk in the fresh air or ten minutes to yourself can reduce your stress levels. By taking care of yourself and avoiding unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking and eating junk food, you can make your stress levels reduce and lead to oral health issues.

If you find yourself suffering from any of these problems due to stress, take some time to identify the triggers and give yourself a moment to relax. If you are worried about any of these issues, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team here at Bay Dental, your cosmetic dentistry in Lancaster, who will be happy to arrange an appointment to discuss your worries and find out the root of the problem.

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