Stress can be good for you. It gets the blood flowing and the motivation pumping. But too much of it can have an adverse effect on your well-being and your body resulting in high blood pressure, heart problems, and poor oral health. Emotional turmoil is a part of life, but for those who are experiencing elevated levels of stress and anxiety, it’s more important than ever to be vigilant about your dental hygiene. That means routine brushing, flossing, eating heart healthy foods, and drinking plenty of water, all of these things can help stave off the damaging effects of too much stress.
There are three major health concerns that arise from high levels of constant anxiety and all of them can prove to have a negative impact on teeth, gums, and the interior walls of your mouth.
It’s the medical term for grinding your teeth. Many people don’t even realize they’re doing it, but bruxism can occur while you sleep. Your teeth clench and gnash as you doze, potentially inflicting damage to the teeth and the jaw. It can get so bad that some people need to get reconstructive surgery to fix extreme cases, though most patients can undergo less invasive treatment to halt the effects of teeth grinding.
Stress is the main cause of bruxism, which can come about from worrying too much, experiencing sadness or anger, and other feelings of self-doubt and fear that can come from work, relationships, or money concerns. The longer you let the stress build, the worse the bruxism can get.
Stress can have a serious impact on your immune system and feelings of depression or sadness might prevent you from putting all of your effort into practicing good brushing and flossing habits. But when your immune system is not at it’s peak or you’re neglecting your dental duties, bacteria can build up and do some serious damage to your teeth and gums if you let it fester for too long. Your gums may start to bleed when you brush and they could get swollen and sore which can result in the loss of teeth.
These painful ulcers can pop anytime, anywhere in your mouth. Gums, cheeks, in between the two, a canker sore can materialize just about any place and when it does it can be very uncomfortable to eat, drink, even talk, depending on how big it gets. Canker sores can come about from many different causes, but stress is thought to be a major reason.