Anxiety is closely related to all aspects of our life and it can affect each and everyone negatively. It is a common problem nowadays as it is caused by the busy and hectic lifestyles we lead, the daily pressure we feel at work and other things we seem unable to achieve. However, in order to avoid the negative effects of stress on our oral health, there are some steps we need to take. First, we must find the cause(s) of stress in our life. Then, we need to address them and decrease the stress factor somehow. Along the way, we need to deal with any of the existing dental problems caused by too much stress. Keep reading to learn about some of the ways stress affects your teeth and gums.
What dental issues can stress cause?
Stress, anxiety and your oral health are closely connected. Stress and anxiety can cause severe dental problems which can easily reflect on your whole life, causing you further health problems, work issues, and social inconveniences. That’s why you should act on it immediately if you notice any of the following dental issues:
- Jaw problems
Different jaw issues and disorders of the jaw joint or the muscles you use daily for chewing your food can arise from constant stress. They are usually reflected in pain around the ears and face.
- Cold sores
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus and triggered by factors such as some forms of dental treatments, sunlight, stress and high anxiety levels.
- Teeth grinding
Teeth grinding is also known as Bruxism. This is a common condition that can occur both during day and night, especially when you’re trying to focus on something or unconsciously when you’re sleeping. Luckily for us, this problem is easily solvable. Many dental centers around the world offer teeth grinding solutions, one of them being a special device that is worn while sleeping. It is designed in such a way that it prevents you from grinding your teeth and thus causing some further problems. If you don’t address your teeth grinding it can result in wear and tear of your teeth, severe gum pain, broken or chipped teeth, jaw disorders and even loose or lost teeth.
- Oral infections
These infections can appear as ulcers, white lines or white red spots in the mouth area. They are prone to the outbreak when the person is under a lot of stress.
- Poor oral hygiene
Poor oral hygiene is something that can happen when we’re under a lot of pressure and when we’re too busy with work and other obligations that we simply forget to brush or floss properly or at all. It can become a serious problem as it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
- Decreased immune response
When we’re feeling anxious and stressful, our immune system feels that and decreases its function leading to periodontal disease.
Tips and tricks for relieving the painful oral symptoms
First of all, if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned, you should visit your dentist for a check-up. A professional will help you in the best way possible. When the dentist identifies your oral problem and suggests a solution, you need to check for the cause of the problem in the first place. If stress is the cause of your oral problem, you need to identify what in your life causes you that kind of stress and act on reducing it ASAP. And in the meantime, try some of the following tips and tricks that can help you in relieving these painful oral symptoms that are sure to make you feel uncomfortable and uneasy if not treated. Whatever oral pain you’re feeling, it’s important to stay away from hard and crunchy food – they will just make the pain you feel even worse. Don’t consume alcohol or cigarettes as they can also affect your fragile oral health and worsen your condition. When it comes to dealing with pain, it’s best to use gentle massage, physical therapy or pain relief medications, depending on the problem. If necessary, use some prescription medications. Anti-inflammatory medicines can help in reducing inflammatory symptoms of the jaw while antiviral medicines can help in reducing cold sores.
The best way to prevent oral problems is to avoid constant stress (which can be really tough these days) or at least to find a way of managing it, to maintain oral hygiene by establishing a regular dental health routine and of course, to dedicate time to regular check-ups.