stressed person

Your Dentist Knows You Are STRESSED!

July 14, 2021 7:56 pm

I don’t think anyone on this earth would argue that this past year has induced quite a bit of added stress. We all know that prolonged stress can take a toll on your mental and physical health, but not many people consider its impact on your oral health. That’s right, stress can negatively affect your oral health, but there are ways to manage and reduce the risk. At Beaufort Center for Dentistry, Dr. Costa and his team are here to help!

  • The first way that stress can impact your oral health is one of the more obvious ones, grinding your teeth, also called bruxism! Grinding your teeth can cause persistent headaches, soreness in your jaw and damage to your teeth. In severe cases, grinding can even lead to tooth loss. People often grind their teeth at night while sleeping. Your dentist may recommend a custom-fitted night guard to prevent further damage. The added cushion can also provide relief to the muscles in your jaw.
  • Also, stress can cause or aggravate the symptoms of TMJ Disorder. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint which refers to the joints used to control the movements of your lower jaw. TMJ Disorder can cause pain in your jaw, pain in and around your ear, difficulty chewing, and clicking sounds when you open your mouth. Any long-term clinching or grinding of your teeth can exacerbate these symptoms.
  • Stress is often the culprit of canker sores. These rather annoying and sometimes painful mouth ulcers can be triggered by stress. Canker sores typically go away on their own within 1-2 weeks, but your dentist may be able to prescribe a topical ointment to relieve the pain if needed.
  • Stress can decrease your immune response, leaving you more susceptible to infection and increasing your risk of Gum Disease. Gum Disease, or periodontal disease, is a result of infections and inflammation of the gums and bone that support your teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. If you are experiencing red, swollen, or bleeding gums, painful chewing or loose teeth, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible to discuss treatment.
  • Finally, during a stressful time, people may let their oral health take a backseat. This can be a costly mistake! Not brushing or flossing your teeth and skipping that hygiene appointment can cause dental problems leading to more issues and MORE STRESS. Regular six-month dental check-ups are critical to prevention.

Learning how to reduce and properly manage stress is important to your overall mental and physical health. Identify your triggers, learn what activities work best to reduce your stress and most importantly, know when it is time to seek professional help!

If you are looking for a new dentist in Beaufort, SC, Dr. Costa and his team would love to see you at Beaufort Center for Dentistry. In network with all major dental insurances, we offer family and cosmetic dentistry, conveniently located in the Ribaut Professional Park at 1264 Ribaut Road in Beaufort, S.C. Call us today to schedule an appointment at (843) 524-7950.

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