Dental Check 101: What Stress Can Do to Your Teeth and Gums

Angry young man.

Everybody knows that stress affects the body in many ways. What people aren’t too aware about is what exactly it does to the teeth and gums. Your oral health is put on the line when you’re not able to cope with stress properly. Here’s how stress affects the teeth and gums and what you can do about it:

It triggers teeth grinding.

Medically known as bruxism, teeth grinding is common among people who are stressed out. Some say that it’s a coping mechanism. Others believe that it gets worse when one indulges in bad stress-relieving habits, like drinking alcohol, smoking, and consuming too many caffeinated drinks.

Bruxism is bad for oral health, as it damages the enamel, the outer covering of the teeth. Without this protective layer, you could be at risk for cavitities, dental fractures, and tooth sensitivity. The thing about bruxism is, people hardly know that they do it, precisely because it often happens during sleep. For this reason, dentists recommend mouth guards. If you have crooked teeth though, also a risk factor for bruxism, your doctor may put you in an orthodontic treatment plan as well.

Don’t worry, though, because this doesn’t mean ugly, metal braces. There are lots of options now for straightening teeth. Consult an orthodontist. Tehachapi, CA clinics have specialists who can explain to you viable options for treatment of your condition.

It makes you vulnerable to gum disease.

Gum disease develops when there’s a plaque build-up on the teeth, causing infection in the gums. When stressed out, people tend to forego good oral care habits, which is a high chance for plaque to form. Research also showed that stress can lower the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight infections. These two factors increase your risk of gum disease.

woman grinding her teeth

To avoid this, proper hygiene and stress management are important. No matter how stressed you are, prioritize good oral care routine. Brush twice daily. Don’t overbrush, and don’t rush into it either. Make sure to cover all areas, including the back surface of the teeth, palate, tongue, and inner cheeks. Floss every after meals. In terms of stress management, practice breathing techniques and meditation whenever confronted with stressors. Exercise daily as well to release that tension in your body.

It increases the risk of canker sores.

The exact cause for canker sores, the tiny lesions that develop in the soft tissues of the mouth, is unknown. But it’s common among people who have high levels of anxiety. One theory says that stress makes people more likely to bite their cheeks or tongue, causing injuries to these regions, leaving one susceptible to canker sores.

Again, the solution here is to manage stress properly. Make sure to follow good hygiene habits, too. Brush and floss to avoid leaving food residue that could trigger sores. Use a soft-bristled brush to prevent irritation on sensitive tissues in the mouth.

Stress can seriously hurt your oral health when you don’t deal with it properly. Consult your doctor about healthy stress-relieving techniques and stick to good oral care habits.

About Faye Gonzales 1659 Articles
Meet our chief explorer, Faye Gonzales. With over a decade of travel experience, Faye is not only a passionate globetrotter but also a loving mom who understands the unique needs of family travelers. Her insights into family-friendly destinations and travel tips make her a trusted guide for parents seeking memorable adventures with their children.