These days, a lot of us understand that stress has a negative impact on not just our minds, but also our bodies. We talk about stress with our family, our friends, our coworkers, and our doctors. But where does the dentist come in? In reality, there are many ways that stress can affect our oral health.

During your routine oral exams, your dentist may find signs that you’re dealing with stress and anxiety, and that you’re likely not addressing them, either. It’s important to have conversations about our lifestyle and stress with our dentists during our appointments, so that we can prevent devastating oral health issues and create treatment plans for any current issues caused by our stress.

Teeth Grinding or Bruxism
One of the most common signs of stress is bruxism, the technical term for grinding teeth and clenching jaws. While a clenched jaw may not seem like a big issue on its own, it could lead to other serious oral issues like sensitive or eroded enamel, shifting of the teeth, headaches, and more.

Tempro-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction
Grinding your teeth can also lead to TMJD, sometimes called TMJ disorder. This happens when your jaw is not working properly, is severely sore, or is making popping or clicking sounds. TMJD can be severely debilitating to everyday life, and needs to be treated as early as possible.

Periodontal and Gum Disease
Studies have shown that stress can lead to higher chances of gum disease in many otherwise healthy adults. The reasons for this may vary, including lack of attention to normal, daily oral care and eating foods that are bad for your health. Canker sores, which are not a disease and are not contagious, are common in stressed patients, as well.

Addressing Stress and Visiting Your Dentist
As you start to make positive life changes to deal with the stress in your life, it’s important to keep a routine schedule in seeing your dentist. They will be able to identify issues before they get bigger, which can cause even more stress – the last thing anyone needs!

Be sure to schedule a stress-free and easy oral exam today with our experienced and friendly dental team here in Long Beach, CA.

Request an appointment online here, or call us to book your next appointment at 562-434-6414.