Stress can do damage to your entire body, causing everything from stomach troubles to gray hair, wrinkles to difficulty sleeping. Stress wreaks havoc, both inside and out, and your teeth are not immune to the toll. Even when anxiety and worry are having their way with your oral health, you can fight back and rejuvenate your smile with restorative dentistry, preventive dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry.
Oral Health Problems Caused by Stress
There are multiple oral health problems that can develop from stress. What leads to those problems can vary depending on your habits and behavior.
- Teeth grinding: Unconsciously clenching and grinding your teeth, especially while you sleep, can cause problems like gum recession, worn enamel, cracked and broken teeth, jaw pain and tenderness, and headaches. To ward off the negative side effects of teeth grinding, your Fort Lauderdale dentist may recommend a night guard to protect your teeth during sleep. If you have misalignment problems that are contributing to the teeth grinding, a course of Invisalign may be worth considering.
- Poor oral health care: Depression and anxiety caused by stress can interrupt your dedication to self-care, and that includes oral health care. If you’re too tired or anxious to brush twice a day and floss once a day, if you’re too worried to visit your Fort Lauderdale dentist twice a year for a cleaning and check-up, your teeth and gums will suffer and infections and cavities will be inevitable.
- Infections: Because stress can make you physically ill with stomachaches and headaches and other pains, it also has the power to attack your immune system and make you more susceptible to illnesses or infections – and these problems can show up in your mouth too.
- Low saliva: Your mouth needs saliva to stay moist and clean away food particles and bacteria in between brushings. Stress, however, can zap you of saliva. If you’re taking medication to combat your anxious feelings, that can lead to dry mouth too. Without enough saliva, you can easily develop cavities or infections.
Make Your Teeth a Priority
When you know that your teeth are in bad condition, whether they look bad or simply feel uncomfortable, it’s important to accept that nothing will change with your oral health unless you make a move to change it.
There is a solution for every oral health problem – if you take the steps to see your Fort Lauderdale dentist and get the repairs you need to restore your smile. A smile makeover doesn’t have to be big, but even the smallest oral health problem can become a big issue if you don’t seek treatment as soon as possible.
If part of your stress about your oral health stems from seeing the dentist, know that at the Premier Smile Center we make your comfort a priority. We offer conscious sedation through nitrous oxide as well as oral sedation to make your dental visit calm and quick. If you’re ready to ease your stress and talk about how to improve your smile, contact Dr. Charmaine Johnson at Premier Smile Center, your dentist near Fort Lauderdale, to learn more and schedule a visit.