Your Battle Creek Dentist Discusses Three Ways Stress Can Impact Your Oral Health

While it’s fairly common knowledge that having high level can negatively impact your overall health, it’s a surprise to many that stress can also cause problems for your oral health. What’s more, the American Psychological Association (APA) states that the majority of Americans experience high levels of stress that are greater than what is considered healthy. Beyond impacting your cardiovascular health, high levels of stress can also cause problems in the mouth, teeth, and/or gums. In this post, we will discuss several common oral health issues that can be caused, or worsened, by stress.

Oral sores. A direct correlation between canker sores and high levels of stress has been discovered, even though the exact cause of canker sores has not been determined definitively. Oral sores, like canker sores, are often painful and bothersome. Canker sores will also commonly create an immune response in one’s body which can result in severely swollen neck glands which can cause pain in the neck, jaw, and teeth.

Grinding and/or clenching teeth. People who are under a high amount of stress may clench or grind their teeth, asleep or awake, without realizing it’s happening or how often. The fact that it happens while sleeping more often than not, makes it even more difficult to recognize. It may even be necessary to wear a mouthguard in order to protect your teeth and jaw as you sleep.

Poor hygiene and/or eating habits. There are a lot of people who “stress eat.” This means that they use food in order to make themselves feel better when they’re stressed. The foods that stressed out people crave aren’t typically healthy and are packed with fat or sugar. High amounts of sugar can cause tooth decay as well as laziness or lethargy.

At Houghtaling Dental, the premier Battle Creek dentist office, we know the importance of regular dental exams. These exams allow us to identify these problems early and discuss with you what you can do to correct them. If you’re experiencing a lot of stress and also having issues with your oral health, do not hesitate to contact us today!