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The Impact of Stress on Oral Health

With the COVID-19 pandemic that’s spread across America, many people are experiencing more stress than normal. This can come from being laid off or worrying about making sure your child is getting the most out of online learning. Stress can have a big impact on your oral health. Maitland Ave Smile Co., a dentist in Altamonte Springs, FL, lets you know what you should be on the lookout for.altamonte springs, fl dentist

Teeth Grinding

One of the biggest ways that stress shows is grinding your teeth, even if you’ve never had the habit before times of higher stress. You may not even notice you’re doing it at first. It can happen at night when you’re sleeping, or during the day subconsciously. The first sign may be slight pain that forms in your jaw.

Teeth grinding is usually felt as jaw, ear, or facial pain. You may get more frequent headaches, especially in the morning if you’ve been grinding at night. There’s a lot of tension caused when your teeth are grinding and clenching together. This tension can disperse throughout your neck and shoulders as well.

Cracked, Chipped, or Broken Teeth

Teeth grinding and clenching can lead to issues with broken teeth. You’re putting a lot more pressure on them, and you may be shifting your jaw to do so. This means that the teeth aren’t meeting where they’re supposed to. The pressure from the grinding isn’t shared evenly with all of your teeth and may be hitting some harder than others.

At its mildest, this will just cause increased wear and tear on your teeth. But it can also contribute to cracks, chips, and breaks. These can range from simple cosmetic problems to severe dental emergencies. Large breaks can expose the tooth pulp and nerves, causing pain and tenderness. Cracks can allow bacteria to get inside the tooth, causing advanced decay and increasing the chance for dental fillings or tooth extraction.

Decreased Immune Response

One of the most detrimental impacts of stress is the decreased immune response it causes. This is especially true when there’s a virus going around. But how does this pertain to your oral health?

A decreased immune response makes you more likely to develop things like gum disease. And with gum disease, one of the most prominent symptoms is bleeding gums. These openings allow the infection to get into the bloodstream and spread to other areas of your body.

What may be even worse with gum disease is the inflammation. With constant inflammation, your body will be constantly trying to fight it. This leaves fewer resources for the body to fight anything else it might encounter.

Your Dentist in Altamonte Springs, Florida

Be aware of the impact that stress can have on your oral health. Keep up an oral healthcare routine at home to try to minimize the consequences. If you have a dental emergency, call us immediately. Give us a ring or schedule an appointment online for the future to get a checkup after this crisis has calmed down. We hope to see your smile in our office soon!