We’ve all been under a lot more pressure recently and the resulting stress we might be feeling can have a negative impact on our dental health.
Often there’s no easy answer to managing stress but it’s important that we are aware of the impact it can have on our wellbeing.
From a purely dental point of view, a high and/or sustained level of stress can lead to:
- Tooth clenching or grinding: This is surprisingly common and can often lead to tooth wear, gum recession, sensitivity, fractured teeth, headaches and jaw pain.
- Poor diet: When we are stressed we often turn to the comfort of sweet treats and drinks, but too many of these can lead to tooth decay and gum problems.
- Poor oral hygiene: Neglecting our usual dental routines can also result in gum problems.
- Dry mouth: In certain cases, stress is managed with medication, which in turn can lead to a dry mouth, which means higher risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
It is becoming clear that stress can lower our immune system’s ability to fight infection, rendering us more vulnerable to general health problems and from a dental point of view, to gum disease.
If you’re unsure, please speak to your dentist. They can provide more information on any of the above points and advise you on ways to provide better protection against the damaging effects of stress-related dental problems.