Can Stress Cause Dental Issues? 4 Common Stress-Related Oral Health Problems

You may already know that stress can contribute to a lot of health problems, such as poor quality sleep, high blood pressure, diabetes, and much more. But did you know that stress can also have a negative effect on your oral health? In this blog from Precision Dental, we’ll take a look at 4 common dental issues that are often related to stress. Let’s get started now. 

1. Bruxism (Teeth Grinding) 

Stress is thought to be a major contributing factor to teeth grinding, both during the day and at night. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, occurs when you unconsciously bite and gnash your teeth together, often during sleep.

Your teeth are not meant to contact each other for prolonged periods of time when you’re not chewing food, which means that teeth grinding can cause premature wear & tear to your teeth, or even cause cracks and tooth breakage in severe cases.

Taking steps to destress before bed may help manage grinding, but the best way to treat it is often with a night guard. This retainer-like device is made out of durable plastic, and typically covers the top teeth. The plastic material is shaped to fit your mouth perfectly, and prevents direct tooth-to-tooth contact. 

While night guards don’t completely prevent teeth grinding, they do protect your teeth from damage, so they’re a great option if you grind your teeth at night and want to preserve your oral health.

2. TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder)

TMJ occurs when the temporomandibular joint, which is located beneath each of your ears, becomes damaged or inflamed. Stress can be a major contributing factor to TMJ, particularly if you experience uncontrolled and untreated teeth grinding.

Teeth grinding affects more than just your teeth. Over time, consistent clenching can damage the temporomandibular joint and other jaw muscles, leading to TMJ. There are a variety of treatment options for TMJ, including lifestyle changes, oral appliance therapy (OAT), dental botox, and surgical intervention in extreme cases. 

3. Gum Disease

Stress has been proven to dramatically reduce our body’s ability to fight off infections, and this includes gum disease. In addition, if you’re very busy and stressed, you may not be paying as much attention to your dental care and gum care or your diet, which can lead to a higher risk of gum disease. 

4. Canker Sores

In some people, biting of the lips and cheeks is very common when they’re feeling stressed or anxious. This can lead to a higher risk of canker sores (aphthous ulcers). While these are not necessarily harmful, they are very painful and can take up to 2 weeks to heal. 

Avoiding the biting of the cheeks and lips is the best way to prevent canker sores, and topical treatments like Orajel and saltwater rinses can help with pain and discomfort when they do occur. 

Know What Dental Issues Can Be Caused By Stress – And Get Help! 

If you’re experiencing stress-related dental issues in Bowling Green, Dr. Bryan Packard of Precision Dental is here to help. Dr. Packard can provide you with a customized dental care plan that will ensure your smile is healthy, and help mitigate common oral health issues caused by stress. So don’t wait. Contact us online or give us a call at 270-715-9214 to schedule a consultation. 

<< back to blogs

Schedule your appointment today!