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The Dangers of Stress on Your Oral Health

added on: January 23, 2014

Stress affects oral healthStress can be caused by a variety of things from your job to your family, to your busy life, and anything in between. Although stress is a necessary part of life, it’s important that you learn how to relieve your stress, not only for your overall health, but also to keep your mouth healthy. At the Anchorage dental office of Dr. Richard Crosby, we’d like to talk about how stress can affect your oral health.

Bruxism

Bruxism is the technical name for tooth grinding and jaw clenching. Bruxism or this clenching can be caused by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite, or by stress and anxiety. Often, stress can cause people to begin grinding, sometimes without even knowing it. Bruxism can cause the tips of teeth to appear flat and can lead to extreme sensitivity and tooth damage. Sometimes, grinding can even cause problems with the TMJ (jaw joint).

Canker Sores

Although not particularly dangerous, canker sores can be painful and usually occur inside the mouth. While they often result from trauma, such as biting your cheek, stress can also trigger a canker sore.

Gum Disease

Researchers have shown that stress directly affects your immune system. This is especially concerning for your Anchorage dentist because when your immune system is compromised, your chance of periodontal disease increases. The risk of gum disease is also increased by dry mouth. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many medications, including those used to treat stress and anxiety.

If you’re feeling anxious, stressed, or tense, or if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms we covered, we urge you to give Dr. Richard Crosby a call. We’ll take a look at what’s going on in your mouth and work together to get you and your mouth healthy.