Stress can cause a wide range of problems with your health, from high blood pressure to weight gain. It can also lead to problems with your oral health. If you’re suffering from high levels of stress, you might need to see your dentist to alleviate some of these uncomfortable symptoms.
The Effects Of Stress On Your Mouth
Much of your body responds poorly to excess stress levels, and your mouth is no exception. Oral health issues that can be directly related to stress include:
- Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism
- Canker sores
- Cold sores, also known as fever blisters
- Increased levels of plaque in the mouth
If your stress leads you to stop taking proper care of your teeth, you can also run the risk of developing severe decay, gingivitis, or advanced gum disease all of which could eventually lead to tooth loss. If you are experience high levels of stress, you should consult with your dentist to determine how to reduce the risk of side effects that can seriously affect your oral health.
Preventing The Side Effects Of Stress
The best way to keep your mouth healthy during periods of stress is to continue your regular oral hygiene routines. Brush and floss regularly to keep plaque from building up on your teeth and causing cavities or gingivitis. Visit your dentist for regular appointments, and if you have any questions about your oral hygiene or about ways to reduce stress-related problems, ask your dentist for help. In some cases, effects can be greatly reduced with proper care. For example, aside from regular oral hygiene to protect the mouth from bacteria and plaque, you might require a mouthguard to help reduce the amount of damage done to your teeth if you are grinding them due to stress or anxiety. Your dentist can also recommend treatment to reduce the symptoms of canker sores if they develop.
Our dentist, Dr. Kelli Slate, can also help you determine the best treatment for cold sores, such as antiviral medication or a topical treatment.