Stress affects us all at some point in our lives. Stress can be good, as it can motivate us, but it can also be harmful if we let it get out of control. Most people feel stress in their jaw or their neck, and this can cause jaw pain, toothaches, headaches, and even tooth sensitivity.
Stress is anything that makes you feel anxious, nervous, or worried. It can also refer to physical reactions such as headaches and muscle tension. Whether experienced at work, at home or even during a dental appointment, stress can cause many different health issues today. While stress itself is normal and sometimes necessary, it is important to manage your stress levels to prevent chronic dental issues. Some of the most common issues are described below.
Chronic anxiety: You may not be aware that you are stressed until it becomes a long-term problem. You may experience trouble sleeping or even panic attacks that can interfere with your daily life.
Bruxism: If you grind your teeth at night due to stress, this can lead to cracked teeth and jaw pain. Teeth grinding is also associated with TMJ disorders.
Gum inflammation: Too much stress can irritate your gums and cause gum disease. This can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.
Tooth decay: When the body is under high stress, saliva production may decrease. As a result, teeth are more susceptible to decay.
Additionally, many cosmetic issues can occur as a result of chronic stress. This includes stained teeth from coffee drinking, smoking, or chewing tobacco. It also leads to increased wrinkles around your mouth that make you look older. To avoid these issues, try to manage stress in a healthy manner. Common options include exercising regularly, practicing meditation, and even talking to a psychologist about managing stress through therapy.
If you’re feeling extremely stressed out and also worried about your oral health, you may need to talk to your dentist about ways to manage that stress more effectively. For example, if you tend to grind your teeth when you’re stressed, your dentist may recommend trying a night guard to protect your teeth and keep you from grinding while you sleep. Additionally, you can use relaxation techniques to calm yourself down, such as deep breathing and meditation.
For help managing your stress levels and seeing a dentist for regular checkups, call A Better Smile Dentistry at (505) 208-0505 and schedule an appointment with the dentist or visit us at 475 Coors Blvd NW, Ste A, Albuquerque, NM 87121.