Doctors have been telling us for years that stress can increase the risk of everything from high blood pressure to depression. But how often do we think about how stress impacts our smile in Reno? Here are some dental problems linked to stress.
Canker and Cold Sores
Cold sores are a symptom of the herpes simplex virus. Scientists don’t know exactly what causes canker sores but suspect they are related to infection, virus, or a weak immune system. If you are prone to mouth sores, you probably already know that stress seems to bring them on or prolong healing times. If you get these sores often, talk to your doctor or dentist. Your healthcare provider can advise you on medications, diet, and stress reduction methods.
It’s no surprise that teeth grinding is detrimental to teeth. It starts with enamel wear, then loose teeth, and eventually tooth loss. During this progression, there may be other problems such as gum recession, headaches, and TMD (Temporomandibular Disorders). If you grind your teeth, it’s important to address this condition as soon as possible. In addition to stress, there are many criteria that can cause or exacerbate teeth grinding. These include malocclusion and prescription medications.
Your dentist may prescribe an appliance to guard your teeth and keep your jaw in the proper position while you are sleeping. Other treatments include cognitive behavior therapy, relaxation therapies, mandibular advancement devices, physical therapy, and medication. Your dentist can create a treatment plan and work with you and your doctor to manage or eliminate this condition. Sleep apnea can also be exacerbated by stress. Oral appliances can treat some forms of sleep apnea.
There are many direct and indirect causes of TMD. For example, inability to manage stress may cause jaw clenching which, in turn, causes pain in the jaw joint. Other symptoms of TMD include tenderness, pain, swelling in the neck, popping sounds, and changes in bite alignment. Again, if you experience any of these, talk to your dentist about improving your health and your smile in Reno.
Stress can reduce your ability to fight plaque build-up, which can cause gingivitis. Some people forget to brush and floss when they are experiencing high levels of stress, so this can also cause the condition to grow worse with time.
Tooth pain and untreated dental issues will only give you something else to worry about. Let’s nip this vicious cycle in the bud. Make an appointment with your dentist to protect your smile in Reno.
Remember, a healthy smile will give you one less thing to worry about.