Doctors have been telling us for years that stress can increase the risk of everything from high blood pressure to depression. But how often do we think about how stress influences our smile? Priority Dental in Casper WY would like to describe some dental problems linked to stress.
Canker and Cold Sores
Cold sores are a symptom of the herpes simplex virus. Scientists don’t know exactly what causes canker sores but suspect they are related to infection, virus, or a weak immune system. If you are prone to mouth sores, you probably already know that stress seems to bring them on or prolong healing times.
If you get these sores easily, speak with your doctor or dentist. Your healthcare provider can guide you on medications, diet, and stress reduction methods.
It’s no surprise that teeth grinding (bruxism) is dangerous to teeth. It starts with enamel wear, then loose teeth, and eventually tooth loss. During this progression, there may be other troubles such as gum recession, headaches, and TMD (Temporomandibular Disorders).
If you grind your teeth, it’s important to address this condition as soon as possible. In addition to stress, there are many factors that can cause or exacerbate bruxism. These include malocclusion (bad bite), and prescription depression and anxiety medications.
We may prescribe bite guard therapy, an appliance to protect your teeth and keep your jaw in the proper position while you are sleeping. Other treatments include cognitive behavior therapy, relaxation therapies, mandibular advancement devices, physical therapy, and medication. We can create a treatment plan and work with you and your doctor to manage or eliminate this condition.
Sleep apnea can also be exacerbated by stress. Some types of sleep apnea can be treated with a dental appliance
There are many direct and indirect causes of TMD. For example, inability to manage stress may cause jaw clenching which, in turn, causes pain in the jaw joint. Other symptoms of TMD include tenderness, pain, or swelling in the neck, ear, face, or shoulder; popping or clicking sounds; and changes in bite alignment. Again, if you experience any of these, meet with your dentist.
Stress can reduce your ability to fight plaque build-up which can cause periodontal disease.
Some people forget brushing and flossing when they are experiencing high levels of stress.
It’s not uncommon for people people to consume more sugar, snack more often between meals, or drink more alcoholic beverages when experiencing increased stress. All this at a time when vigilant oral hygiene is often not a person’s first priority!
At Priority Dental in Casper WY, we can treat TMD and other issues. Services include family dentistry. Make an appointment with us today.
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