When you think about oral health, the last thing that comes to mind is stress. People think that hygiene and diet are the only ones responsible for the condition of our teeth. They are major players in oral health but not the only players. Your psychological condition has the ability to affect your health including the health of your teeth.
There are potential impacts that can occur on your mouth, teeth and gums if you are under stress. Some of these impacts include;
- Mouth Sores- they are also known as canker sores. They are small ulcers with a reddish border and a gray or white base. They normally occur inside your mouth in pairs or more. The cause of these sores has not yet been identified but stress and fatigue increases the chances of getting them. Please note that these sores are not contagious. They can be painful and to deal with them, you can reduce your intake of spicy and acidic foods. They normally disappear after ten days.
- Cold Sores- they are also known as fever blisters. Unlike canker sores they appear on your lips or around it. They can also appear on the neck or under your chin. They are filled with fluid and caused by the herpes simplex virus. They are contagious. Therefore, it is advisable to seek treatment as soon you notice that you are developing a cold sore. Stress can increase the occurrence of these sores. You can ask your dentist to recommend treatment for these sores.
- Teeth Grinding- experts have also discovered that stress will make you clench or grind teeth. This is known as bruxism. The process is done subconsciously both day and night. If this is a habit that you already have, stress could make it worse. Grinding of teeth will lead to problems with your temperomandibular joint that is found in front of your ear at the point where your lower jaw and skull meet. If this is a problem, you can ask your dentist for a solution. They can get you a mouth guard that will help at night.
- Dry Mouth- when you suffer from chronic stress you might require medication. The medication prescribed for stress can cause dry mouth. You need saliva to help wash away food particles and bacteria that form plaque. It is also uncomfortable to have a dry mouth.