It is not hard to find someone who is experiencing stress in his or her life. Although you may be well aware of the impact stress has on your overall physical health, it is important to realize that this includes your oral health as well. Research reveals a strong link between depression and anxiety and dental problems.
You may think you are exempt from this discussion since you don’t clench or grind your teeth in response to stress. This does in fact lead to the majority of stress-related dental problems, including TMJ and enamel damage. However, there are also other factors that stress brings on that will contribute to poor dental health.
Chronic stress as well as some medications used to treat depression can cause dry mouth. Dry mouth becomes a problem because you need saliva to help wash away food particles and harmful bacteria that contribute to plaque formation.
Stress can also trigger painful sores in your mouth. Canker sores as well as a condition called lichen planus have been linked to stress. Lichen planus involves sores, ulcers, and white striations in the mouth.
Let’s not forget that stress also weakens your immune system. This certainly affects your oral health as your body needs a strong immune system to fight off gum disease and other harmful bacteria in your mouth.
The dentists at Park South Dentistry can help you when stress starts affecting your oral health. Besides engaging in stress-reducing activities, a dentist can help with ways such as recommending a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding or a special mouthwash to alleviate your dry mouth.