April is recognized as National Stress Awareness Month to bring attention to the negative impact of stress. Managing stress is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Knowing how to manage stress can improve mental and physical well-being and minimize the exacerbation of health-related issues. Stress can significantly impact oral health, causing teeth to break, jaw pain (TMJ), headaches, and migraines. This is because stress can cause people to grind or clench their teeth while sleeping, a condition called bruxism.

Impeccable Smiles runs our practice on a holistic oral connection. So, it is critical to examine how stress affects oral health.

We will look at:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene Routine
  • Dry Mouth
  • Teeth Grinding
  • Clenched Jaw

Poor Oral Hygiene Routine

When stressed, many things take a seat on the back burner. We tend to find comfort in things that may include unhealthy food like sugar and caffeine. An in-balance diet correlates to your mouth. In addition to consuming the wrong foods, you may avoid brushing your teeth twice daily. Not brushing or skipping flossing will lead to plaque buildup, tooth decay, cavities, and potential tooth loss.

Dry Mouth

When your mouth makes little or no saliva, it affects more than just your thirst. Saliva helps you taste and digest what you eat and rink. It also flushes food particles from the teeth and reduces the acids that cause tooth decay and can lead to gum disease. Excessive alcohol and tobacco use can also cause dry mouth.

Teeth Grinding

Also known as bruxism, grinding is an action caused by stress and anxiety. It happens at night while sleeping, and most people don’t realize they are doing it. Over time, grinding can lead to chipped teeth, teeth sensitivity, or tooth loosening.

Clenched Jaw (TMJ)

When you have chronic stress, you will experience muscle tension in your jaw. A Tempororamadibular joint disorder, known as TMJ, will occur. TMJ is very painful and causes popping in the jaw, sensitivity to certain foods, swelling of the jawline, and headaches. Most people will have to ice daily and take problem or muscle relaxers. If the problem persists, we suggest getting fitted for a mouth guard. This will save your teeth and make you sleep and feel better. You can wear mouthguards during the day and all through the night.

If you can step back and see where the source of the stress is coming from and work on that area, that’s the best way to fend off the adverse effects. However, if that’s not entirely possible, then turning to healthy habits like yoga, meditation, journaling, or exercising can help to reduce tension.

Impeccable Smiles is always here for to help you with your holistic dental journey. Please contact your dentist in Lutz for a consultation.