Are You Stressed? Your Dentist May Know
The role that stress plays in a variety of health-related concerns is nothing new. Yet, consider the link between stress and oral health. Dental professionals are reporting that more and more signs of stress are showing up in their offices. Symptoms such as orofacial pain, bruxism, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD), mouth sores, and even gum disease are believed to be associated with stress. Thus, if you are stressed, your dentist may know.
Stress-Related Behaviors and Disorders:
Bruxism: As the medical term for grinding teeth and clenching the jaw, many assume that Bruxism is the result of a sleep disorder, a misaligned bite, or missing teeth. However, anxiety and tension are two chief culprits that result in bruxism. While the grinding and clenching behavior is commonly done at night, it can happen at any time, without the individual realizing it.
Those that “brux” may notice that the tips of their teeth are flattened. They may also experience tooth sensitivity due to tooth enamel being weakened.
TMD: Temporomandibular Joint Disorders, often called TMD, represent a class of conditions that causes pain and discomfort in the jaw joint. Yet, it also affects the muscles that are used in moving the jaw and the neck. While individuals experience pain in their jaw, they may also experience discomfort in their ears, as well as tension and soreness in their neck and shoulders.
Mouth Sores: Also referred to as Canker Sores or Mouth Ulcers, these sores are generally linked to trauma, such as biting the cheek or puncturing the gum tissue. Yet, if you’ve noticed an outbreak of sores in the mouth when under pressure or stress, you shouldn’t be surprised. Stress limits the body’s ability to fight viruses and bacteria.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Perhaps surprising to some, Periodontal (Gum) Disease is linked to stress. In these cases, gum disease is a result of a change in circumstances or a behavioral change. For example, college students that are up late studying at night may resort to “stress eating.” The types of foods chosen are usually loaded with sugar, which are sure to attack gum tissues. In turn, those that are experiencing a heavy financial burden are more stressed and anxious. Recent studies support the link between emotional (stressful) highs and lows and their connection to gum disease.
At Sugar Creek Family Dental, our mission is to provide every patient with a wonderful dental experience. We understand that life can be stressful, and we realize that your circumstances are unique. That’s why we’ll spend ample time getting to know you, your concerns, and your goals. Ultimately, we want to help you avoid the behaviors that may cause damage to your oral health. Dr. William Capati and the team at Sugar Creek Family Dental welcome your call today!
Posted on behalf of Sugar Creek Family Dental